Officials with Terraform, owners of the Raleigh wind farm project where a tower collapsed on Jan. 19, said the cause has been identified as a “faulty blade.”
“After fully satisfying a review by independent, third-party professionals, as well as our own engineering team, our Raleigh wind facility has returned to service as of Thursday, March 29. The review confirmed that the collapse of a turbine at the facility earlier this year was caused by a single faulty blade. No other similar issues were identified through the review process,” said Terraform’s Chad Reed, Director of Investor Relations. “We will continue to regularly and rigorously monitor all turbines as part of our ongoing review and maintenance process.”
On Jan. 19, local residents reported hearing a bang sometime after midnight. Bob Crawford, fire chief for the municipality, said the turbine came down about 1 a.m.
“The main support shaft for the nacelle gave up about halfway up. It didn’t sever, but stayed attached,” he said the day after the tower collapse.
The Raleigh wind farm started generating electricity back in 2011, and was built by Invenergy. The 78 MW project includes 52 GE-manufactured turbines on 9,300 acres of land and is reported to produce enough electricity to power up to 20,000 homes, according to previously published reports.
In late 2015, Invenergy sold the Raleigh turbine farm to Terraform Power Inc., as part of the sale of more than 800 MW of power plants.