160 Foot Blade Falls Off Land-Based Gloucester Wind Turbine
The ground must have shaken when a 160-foot blade fell off a 492-foot tall wind turbine in Gloucester, Massachusetts on Saturday night. Fortunately, no one was standing beneath the thing when the blade came tumbling down because it could have ruined their entire weekend.
According to the Gloucester Daily Times, the wind turbine is located on the Gloucester property of Applied Materials/Varian Semiconductor Associates. The paper reported that the falling blade resulted in police closing Blackburn Drive to motor vehicle traffic "and customers trying to reach the Happy Valley marijuana dispensary" had to be re-routed.
Published reports stated the wind turbine was constructed in 2012 by the Wilmington-based Baldwin Crane, which offloaded the parts, including the blades, from barges and transported them to the construction site where the wind turbine for about $8 million.
Applied Materials/Varian Semiconductor Associates' wind turbine was the first of three turbines constructed at the Blackburn Industrial Park and is the tallest.
The newspaper reported the blades were re-attached to the wind turbine in 2018 after being removed for repairs. The park's other turbines, both "operated by the City of Gloucester and its partners," have been subject "to a series of maintenance and repair projects," including hydraulic leaks and "a blown circuit board."
The City of New Bedford expects to team up with Vineyard Wind at New Bedford's Marine Commerce Terminal to create large wind turbine blades for the company's planned wind farm off the Massachusetts coast.
Bristol Community College's National Offshore Wind Institute will offer certifications in the wind industry at a new campus to open on Herman Melville Boulevard.
Meanwhile, officials in Gloucester are still trying to determine why the giant wind turbine blade crashed to the ground on Saturday night. There were no injuries as a result of the incident.