There was a fire in a wind turbine in Iowa last week that totally destroyed the business end of the thing; if you look around on the net you can find some photos of charred wreckage.
And there is the amazing sight of a turbine (part of the Biglow wind farm) in Wasco County, Ore., in wreckage (a worker was killed in that mishap). Likewise you can probably find photos of it — it’s just sitting there right now, apparently at the family’s request. If wind folks don’t get their act together and get their QA programs up to a much higher standard they are going to find it increasingly difficult to get these things sited.
A friend in the industry said that rich guys (hedge fund managers, he said) were going across the country optioning up good wind sites, betting that they can make a pile by exercising the option. I can imagine that turning into a real PR problem for wind: sure, the farmers don’t mind taking the option money now, but when the turbines go in, if those farmers are only making a little and rich hedge-fund investors are making a pile on the site lease, it won’t look good.