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Gamesa’s Kymal Says Blade Falls Off Wind Turbine in South India an “isolated” incident

According to reports, Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA, Europe’s second-biggest wind turbine maker, is investigating an accident in which a blade fell off of an 850-kilowatt turbine in southern India, the head of the company’s local unit said.

The accident is an “isolated” incident, Ramesh Kymal, chairman and managing director of Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt., said today by telephone. “We have more than 7,000 of these turbines operating worldwide without any problems.”

The turbine was installed about five years ago at a wind farm owned by Pioneer Wincon Pvt., which has been maintaining the equipment, said Kymal. “We haven’t been doing the maintenance even though we wanted to,” he said.

Pioneer Chief Executive Officer D.V. Giri said the blade fell off the turbine two days ago and hit a transmission line, knocking out power temporarily. Power has since been restored, Giri said by telephone today.

There were no signs of abnormalities prior to the incident, and Gamesa is sending technicians to investigate, he said.

It wasn’t clear if the blade broke or fell from the joints. Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL), India’s biggest wind turbine maker, spent $100 million on a global retrofit program after rotor blades shipped to customers developed cracks starting in 2007.

When blades fell from a Suzlon turbine at a North Dakota wind farm earlier this year, an investigation determined that it was a “singular event” caused by the failure of a bolt connecting the rotor assembly to the nacelle, Iberdrola SA (IBE), the project’s owner, said in May.

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