Last month, a wind turbine on a North Dakota wind farm suffered a "catastrophic failure" when "oversight" and "human error" — features of energy infrastructure which scientists suggest are unavoidable — led to the enormous turbine falling off its mount.
The most recent reports indicate that so far the only casualties are a wide swath of grass and possibly a family of voles.
So far no evacuation zone has been declared. There are no threats to sea life, and the fallout from the disaster was not detectable thousands of miles away. Cleanup efforts are in progress, and will not include covering the area in a giant concrete dome. No workers have been asked to give their lives in order to save their countrymen from the menace of this fallen wind turbine.
Engineers warn, however, that this is certainly not the last time this will happen. Even bigger wind power-related disasters have occurred in the past, as illustrated in this dramatic footage in which nobody also died:
- Wind Turbine Blade Tumble Called a "Singular Event", <i>IEEE Spectrum</i>
Get Grist in your inbox