Economy & Business
7:18 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Cambria County Wind Farm Operating at Partial Capacity

Inspectors are slowly putting turbines that make up the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm in Blair and Cambria Counties back on line after a large section of a blade fell from one of the generators. The blade failed Friday night.

The facility is managed by Infigen Energy, which is the Dallas-based U.S subsidiary of an Australian company. Infigen Vice President of U.S. Commercial Operations David Smith said there had been some “winter weather” in the area before the blade failed but it had passed.

“Our investigation has just started but the early indications are that the wind speeds were normal and that the turbine was operating as expected,” said Smith who added all of the needed maintenance had been done on the blades and the turbine. 

Turbines are usually stopped when high winds or other sever weather is passing through a wind farm.

“We have an investigator on site and they will be developing a report for us,” said Smith.

As the blades are inspected the turbines are being brought back on line one at a time.  Smith said that process could take several days. 

“It’s not a common occurrence but it can happen,” said Smith.  “There are control systems in the turbine to protect the blades from this type of situation.”

The broken blade fell to the ground near the turbine.  No one was injured and no other property was damaged.

Smith notes the area around each turbine is not fenced off and he warns people to stay away from the turbines.

The Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm opened in 2007 with 40 turbines.  It has a total maximum production of 80 megawatts of electricity.