On April 27, a small airplane crashed on the site of NextEra Energy's South Dakota Wind Energy Center, killing all four passengers on board.
According to an Associated Press report, the single-engine Piper aircraft crashed 10 miles south of Highmore, S.D., killing the pilot and three passengers. The plane was reported missing and the wreckage was found on the site on Monday, April 28.
The wind farm, which is powered by 27 1.5 MW GE turbines, was commissioned in 2003. Steve Stengel, NextEra Energy Resources' spokesman, confirmed with NAW that the plane that was reported missing was found on the site. He declined to give specifics about damages to turbines or other equipment at the wind farm, but the AP report notes that one of the wind turbines was, in fact, damaged.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the site and trying to determine if engine failure, pilot error or the weather played a factor in the crash.