NAW has learned that a blade belonging to a Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbine came crashing to the ground at the 265 MW Ocotillo Wind Farm in the early morning hours of May 16. No one was injured.
A spokesperson from Pattern Energy, which owns and operates Ocotillo, corroborated the incident. Calls to Siemens were not returned at press time.
Local resident Jim Pelley, who happened on the scene, says it appears the blade snapped at the base of the rotor. He says local wind conditions at the time of the accident were well within what is considered customary for wind speeds in the area. Citing an online source, Pelley says the largest wind gust recorded that morning reached 29 mph.
The Ocotillo Wind Farm features 112 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines operating on approximately a 10,000-acre site on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
The wind farm, located along California's Imperial Valley, is emblematic of the Obama administration's push to site renewable energy projects on public lands located in the western U.S.
For more, go to http://www.nawindpower.com/issues/NAW1305/FEAT_02_Ocotillo_Underscores.html