‘Absolutely crazy’: Wind turbine in Wisconsin collapses

By Kendall Keys

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    DODGE COUNTY, Wisconsin (WISN) — Wednesday night the blades and top portion of a wind turbine came crashing down to the field below in a rural area of Dodge County, near the town of Herman.

The impact scattered massive pieces of debris across the ground. Nobody was hurt.

“The one that lives on top of the hill right there and the farm right behind us, they said that they both heard it and it shook their house,” said Mark Dietrich.

The turbine is a part of the Butler Ridge wind farm and stands about 400 feet above the ground, according to the National Weather Service.

Dietrich’s father owns the property. He told WISN 12 News that he lived there when crews first installed the turbines in 2008.

“I think it’s absolutely crazy because growing up here and seeing them when I was a kid getting put up and they always talk about, like, oh they can’t build houses around them because there’s a chance they could fall, but you never think it would ever happen,” Dietrich said.

Dietrich said he’s glad nobody was hurt, but the incident left a big mess and a big hole.

“That’s a lot of weight coming down at one time. It left quite the crater,” Dietrich said.

NextEra Energy Resources owns the turbine. A statement to WISN 12 News from NextEra reads, “We are aware of the turbine failure at Butler Ridge Wind. Importantly, no one was injured. We believe this was an isolated incident as turbine malfunctions are rare. We are determining the cause of the turbine failure and assessing other turbines on site as a quality-control measure.”

WISN 12 News crews observed NextEra employees at the site observing the damage.

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