Michigan Wind Farm Incidents 2009 – 2019
Publicly reported incidents regarding structural, environmental, personal injury and transport incidents associated with industrial wind energy.
Compiled from public data and news sources.
Wind Farm Incident Summary Reports for Huron County
2018 Wind Farm Accidents
In 2018 a maintenance worker slipped and fell off a turbine, but was saved by his safety harness. The worker was from Oklahoma and reported to be dangling from a wind turbine in the Sigel Wind Farm in the Upper Thumb. He was rescued and safely lowered to the ground. He was taken to hospital as a precaution but not injured
2019 Wind Farm Accidents
The only major incident of note in 2019 for the state of Michigan was a fire in April. A fire was reported at Turbine #17, Harvest Wind II wind farm in Huron County on the 1st of April. Flaming debris was reported to be scattered across the ground. This is the second issue with turbines at this wind farm – in 2016 one “shook itself apart”.
In May 2019, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula a blade broke off a wind turbine in Garden Peninsula wind farm. The farm is run by Heritage Sustainable Energy.
- Incidents and Accidents in Huron County Michigan from 2016
- Incidents and Accidents in Huron County Michigan from 2017
Accident and Incident Map
Wind Farm Incident Categories
Human Health – Incidents include reports of ill-health and effects due to turbine noise, shadow flicker, etc. Such reports are predicted to increase significantly as turbines are increasingly approved and built-in unsuitable locations, close to people’s homes.
Blade Failure – By far the biggest number of incidents found was due to blade failure. “Blade failure” can arise from a number of possible sources, and results in either whole blades or pieces of a blade being thrown from the turbine.
Fire – Is the second most common wind turbine accident cause in incidents found. Fire can arise from a number of sources – and some turbine types seem more prone to fire than others.
Structural Failure -“Structural failure” is assumed to be a major component failure under conditions which components should be designed to withstand. This mainly concerns storm damage to turbines and tower collapse. However, poor quality control, lack of maintenance and component failure can also be responsible.
Transport – Most accidents involve turbine sections falling from transporters, through turbine sections have also been lost at sea. Transport is the single biggest cause of public fatalities.
Environmental – Includes oil and solvent spills, crop or habitat damage and wildlife death due to turbine placement.
Ice Throw – Resulting in property damage or evacuation. Incidents are listed here unless they have caused human injury, in which case they are included under “human injury”
Human Injury – Incidents by those involved wind industry or construction/maintenance workers, and involved members of the public or workers not directly dependent on the wind industry (e.g. firefighters, transport workers)
Fatality – Wind industry and direct support workers (divers, construction, maintenance, engineers, etc), or small turbine owner/operators. Public fatalities, including workers not directly dependent on the wind industry (e.g. transport workers)
Miscellaneous – Component or mechanical failure has been reported here if there has been no consequential structural damage. Also included are lack of maintenance, electrical failure (not led to fire or electrocution), etc. Construction and construction support accidents are also included, also lightning strikes when a strike has not resulted in blade damage or fire.
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