Commissioner: Wind turbine blades pose no danger

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TIPTON, Ind. (AP) - A wind farm where two blades broke off from towering turbines poses no “imminent danger” to the public, a local commissioner told residents at a special forum on the wind farm.

A wind turbine lost one of its blades at the Wildcat Wind Farm on April 2, in a break the farm’s operator blamed on lighting. That incident was the second blade to have separated this year from one of the central Indiana site’s 125 turbines.

The blade incidents prompted some residents who attended Monday’s forum on the wind farm to call for the farm to be shut down. Others said the latest blade break isn’t a cause for concern.

Tipton County Board of Commissioners President Phil Heron told those who attended the forum that the latest blade break does not provide any evidence suggesting the farm’s wind turbines pose an “imminent danger” to residents, The Kokomo Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1lyN9Ok ).

“If someone can show me that there’s imminent danger, that somebody’s life was in serious danger, then we would shut it down,” Heron said.

Wind farm operator E.ON Climate & Renewables has not yet conducted studies on the first turbine blade break, which occurred on Feb. 1, but Heron said a crane that will be needed to take down the turbine is on its way to Tipton County.

Resident Heidi Freeman said there are too many questions regarding the safety of the turbines as well as turbine noise issues that continue to generate complaints from some farm owners.

She said another blade break could cause a serious safety risk for farmers, who will spend more time out in the fields this summer.

“The safety of these people is of importance,” she said. “There will be farmers out in those fields soon.”

Resident Stan Jones told the commissioners they would have to act if future blade breaks put residents near the farm in danger.

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Information from: Kokomo Tribune, http://www.ktonline.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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