GE: 'Isolated manufacturing issue' caused wind turbines to break

ARMSTRONG — An “isolated manufacturing issue” caused two wind turbines in East Central Illinois to break last year, the manufacturer of the towers said Monday.

Two blades made by GE collapsed last year. The first break occurred in June at the Settlers Trail Wind Farm near Sheldon in Iroquois County; the second was in November at the recently built California Ridge Wind Farm in Vermilion and Champaign counties.

“After completing an investigation, GE determined that an isolated manufacturing issue was the cause of the two blade fault occurrences.  We reviewed the wind farm fleets at both sites to ensure their continued reliability and performance,” said Lindsay Theile, a spokeswoman with GE’s Renewable Energy business.

“We have addressed the manufacturing issue to prevent this from happening in the future.”

Both turbines are “back online and running,” Theile added.

The 134-turbine California Ridge Wind Farm, operated by Chicago-based Invenergy LLC, and the 94-turbine Settlers Trail Wind Farm, operated by E.On Climate & Renewables North America, also based in Chicago, feature 1.6-megawatt wind turbines manufactured by GE.

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