Wind turbine blade snaps at Mass ski area

By Dominic Poli, Staff Writer | Greenfield Recorder | 2/18/2022

CHARLEMONT – One of the three blades of Berkshire East Mountain Resort’s wind turbine snapped in half on Thursday morning, likely resulting in a lengthy repair, though the incident will not disrupt the outdoor adventure center’s operations.

Jon Schaefer, whose family owns Berkshire East as well as Catamount Ski Resort in Hillsdale, New York, said his staff called him at home around 8 a.m. to inform him of the incident, presumably caused by a heavy gust of wind. There were no injuries.

“Things like that don’t break without, you know, it really throwing off your morning. Sometimes you have to run into Dumpster fires and, you know, that was mine yesterday,” he said Friday. “(Staff members) heard a bang, looked around, looked up, and saw it.”

The top half of the broken blade was still dangling Friday afternoon.

Schaefer, who said he has insurance, went to the site and recorded a video, which marketing manager Nathan Marr posted to Berkshire East’s Facebook page to share with the world. The 900-kilowatt-hour wind turbine can be seen in the background over Schaefer’s right shoulder.

“This is a real tough one for me. I’ve seen and experienced a lot – I haven’t experienced this. We did have a cracked blade a few years ago, but the damage was all internal and was never really in this current state, so … you know?” he said in the video. “We’re proud of our renewable energy legacy, the work we’ve done here. We’ll carry on. You know, (renewable energy) is important, it’s the right thing to do, but it comes with challenges, and equipment does break down. It’s subject to the weather and, you know, it’s subject to a lot of different issues and this is one of them.”

Schaefer, 42, said in an interview that the turbine supplements the resort’s energy consumption but does not serve as its power supply. He said the turbine was installed in 2010 and commissioned in January 2011. Berkshire East was closed Friday, not due to the turbine but because of high winds. Schaefer said one ski trail was closed Thursday in order for workers to get road access to the turbine site.

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Comment by Willem Post on February 25, 2022 at 6:25am

It would be better to allocate resources to become much more energy and resource efficient, and as a result use less energy and resources, and as a result have less CO2 emissions and other emissions relating to energy and digging up resources.

However, certain folks in the US government are not so interested in the environment.

Russia-hating, extremists in the US State Department and US Congress have been using NATO to pressure first the USSR, then Russia.
They have been deluding impoverished, corrupt Ukraine with future membership in the EU and NATO, since 1990
They have been weaponizing Ukraine since the US-instigated Color Revolution/coup d’etat in 2014
Millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, mostly in East Ukraine, decided not to support the Kiev government.
The US instigated Ukraine not to implement the Minsk 2 agreements, to keep the pot boiling
The US and UK supplied huge quantities of defensive and offensive weapons, plus military training personnel to Ukraine, so it could “defend itself”
Russia made certain demands regarding:
1) NATO encroachments beyond East Germany starting in 1997 (after pledging not to do so in 1990)
2) The indivisibility of Russian and European security.
The US/UK-led NATO rejected the demands, and offered to talk about important, albeit peripheral issues.
Ukraine hot-heads floated the idea of Ukraine having an “Iron Dome” similar to Israel, and reacquiring nuclear weapons
Russia finally reacted. The result is a shooting war in Ukraine.
The EU is partially at fault, as it did not assert itself regarding the Kiev coup d’etat in 2014
The EU decided to become an aider and abettor of US policy goals regarding Ukraine in 2014, and onwards
The EU ended up being maneuvered into its present predicament, which is at variance with EU vital interests.


Comment by Willem Post on February 21, 2022 at 9:56am

If NE had 4000 wind turbines, at 3 MW each, blade failures would be a frequent occurrence 

Comment by Willem Post on February 21, 2022 at 9:53am

Replacing the blade is a big deal.

A new blade has to be made and transported to the site.

The broken blade has to be disposed of in a safe manner

A special crane, at $100,000/day, has to be erected at the site to remove the broken blade and install the new one.

Time frame about 2 to 3 months, I.e., no production 

Turnkey cost about $400,000

The unit has a capacity of 900 kW and produces 900 kW x 8766 h/y x 0.30, capacity factor = ….. kWh per year

All of that variable, intermittent, high-cost, weather-dependent, wind-dependent electricity is fed, via a substation with transformer, into the high voltage grid.

That electricity is spread out on the NE high voltage grid as electro-magnetic waves, at nearly the speed of light, such as from northern Maine to southern Florida, 1800 miles in 0.01 of a second.

BEMR gets 100% of its electricity from the NE high voltage grid, which carries the NE mix of all the electricity fed into the NEW ENGLAND grid by several hundred electricity generating plants.

All NE utilities get almost all of THEIR electricity supply from the NE high voltage grid.

Some utilizes produce some percentage of their electricity supply 

Comment by Penny Gray on February 20, 2022 at 7:18pm

Well, you know, claiming to be the first ski area in the world to produce 100% of its electricity from onsite renewables, that's FALSE advertising.  Add that broken blade image to that picture and, you know, that really doesn't cut the mustard. Personally, I wouldn't want to be riding the chairlift when the turbine blade snapped and the chairlift stopped.  Just sayin'.

Comment by Long Islander on February 20, 2022 at 7:06pm

Very observant Gary!

Comment by Gary Campbell on February 20, 2022 at 6:56pm

"Schaefer, 42, said in an interview that the turbine supplements the resort’s energy consumption but does not serve as its power supply."

REALLY?  Your website says: "Berkshire East is the only ski area in the world to generate 100% of our electricity from on-site renewable energy."

Comment by Penny Gray on February 20, 2022 at 5:26pm

Well, you know? This isn't the first time a blade has broken due to high winds and it won't be the last. So, you know, if this is the right thing to do, be prepared to pay for it.  Great advertising, by the way.

Comment by Kenneth Capron on February 20, 2022 at 4:05pm

Wait. What? Fast wind gusts on a mountain top? Who could have anticipated that?

     I am really surprised that any insurance company is dumb enough to insure for breakage like this. Must be quite a premium? Wait till this guy sees how much that premium will increase.

     So in ten years he has already seen a cracked blade and a snapped blade. That bodes well for the manufacturer of blades. Of course anything like this uses a fair amount of labor for the mold and for applying the FRP materials. And manual labor is less likely to provide uniform thickness and strength throughout the length of the blade.

     Find out who the insurer is and short sell their stock. I would wager that every blade they insured will in time fail.

     Of course they can always recycle these blades into aircraft wings.


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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