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Wind turbine, blades collapse onto southern Wisconsin field

HERMAN, Wis. — A company that operates a southern Wisconsin wind farm is investigating what caused part of a wind turbine and its blades to plummet to the ground, leaving debris strewn across a field.

No one was injured Wednesday night when the blades and top portion of a wind turbine collapsed in Dodge County, near the town of Herman.

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

Mark Dietrich, whose father owns the property where the collapse occurred, told WISN-TV that a nearby resident said that when it collapsed "they both heard it and it shook their house."

Dietrich said he's glad nobody was hurt, although massive pieces of debris were left scattered across the ground and there is a large crater from the impact.

"That's a lot of weight coming down at one time. It left quite the crater," he said.

NextEra Energy Resources owns the turbine. The company said in statement that it believe that "this was an isolated incident as turbine malfunctions are rare."

The company said it is working to determine "the cause of the turbine failure and assessing other turbines on site as a quality-control measure."

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