A wind turbine at the Steel Flats Wind Farm south of Diller collapsed on Tuesday morning, and the incident is now under investigation.
Bryan Garner, Spokesperson for NextEra Energy Resources, stressed that no one was injured during this incident, and that the site was secured by local staff.
“We monitor all of the wind turbines in the country from a remote location at our headquarters in Florida,” said Garner. “This turbine went offline shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Our site manager went to the site and confirmed that the turbine was lying in a cornfield. We secured the turbine equipment and no one was injured during this incident.”
Garner explained that they are working with the manufacturer, General Electric, to determine the cause of the malfunction, noting that this is a rare incident that has not occurred at one of their Nebraska farms before.
“This is a first at our site in Nebraska,” Garner said. “They do malfunction from time to time. Like any kind of equipment, they can fail, but it is very rare. Now we’re investigating to see what might of caused it.”
Garner was unable to provide the cost of the turbine, though he was able to say that the entire wind farm is valued at roughly $138 million capital investment. He stated that there are a total of 44 turbines at the location and that the other ones are operating normally. The Steel Flats Wind Farm produces enough energy to power roughly 19,000 homes according to Garner.
He noted that after the investigation wraps up, the company may install another turbine at the site.