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Wind Turbines Taller Than the Statue of Liberty Are Falling Over


Wind Turbines Taller Than the Statue of Liberty Are Falling Over

Ryan Beene and

Josh Saul
January 23, 2023 at 3:00 AM CST

On a calm, sunny day last June, Mike Willey was feeding his cattle when he got a call from the local sheriff’s dispatcher. A motorist had reported that one of the huge turbines at a nearby wind farm had collapsed in dramatic fashion. Willey, chief of the volunteer fire department in Ames, 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, set out to survey the scene.

The steel tower, which once stood hundreds of feet tall, was buckled in half, and the turbine blades, whose rotation took the machine higher than the Statue of Liberty, were splayed across the wheat field below. The turbine, made by General Electric Co., had been in operation less than a year. “It fell pretty much right on top of itself,” Willey says.

Another GE turbine of the same model collapsed in Colorado a few days later. That wind farm’s owner-operator, NextEra Energy Inc., later attributed it to a blade flaw and said it and GE had taken steps to prevent future mishaps. A spokesperson for GE declined to say what went wrong in both cases in a statement to Bloomberg.

Damaged blades hang from a wind turbine near Guymon, Oklahoma, in 2021.
Photographer: Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman



Something about that image above instantly brought this to mind:


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