Pattern Energy has offered an update on last month’s turbine collapse at the Ocotillo Wind project in Southern California. According to an investigation from Siemens, the incident occurred due to blade cracks.
On Nov. 21, a Siemens 2.3-108 turbine collapsed “within the designated setback zone surrounding the turbine’s base.” The accident did not cause any injuries.
According to an update on Ocotillo Wind’s site, Siemens then conducted a “preliminary root cause analysis,” which showed that the machine had “cracks in the structural member of the interior of the blade” (specifically, the shear web). In turn, over time, the blade failed and then struck the tower, which then collapsed.
The manufacturer says it has made more than 2,100 blades of this design and maintains that the accident was the first of its kind. In addition, Pattern Energy says this incident was not related to another blade failure at Ocotillo Wind in 2013.
Siemens says it is now internally inspecting all blades at the project.