Rare tornado destroys wind farm in Iowa

(MENAFN) In a rare occurrence, a wind Farm situated in southwest Iowa bore the brunt of a powerful tornado, resulting in the destruction of five of its towering wind turbines, with one engulfed in flames. The dramatic footage captured from the scene near Greenfield, Iowa, depicted the tornado's ferocious onslaught, tearing through the landscape, uprooting trees, causing structural damage to buildings, and engulfing the surroundings in a whirlwind of dirt and debris.

According to reports, several turbines at the Orient wind farm operated by MidAmerican Energy Company recorded wind speeds exceeding 100 mph as the tornadoes approached, moments before succumbing to the destructive force of nature. In a statement, MidAmerican described the event as an unprecedented impact on their wind fleet, despite their long-standing experience in operating wind farms dating back to 2004.

Jason Ryan, a spokesperson for the American Clean Power Association, emphasized the rarity of such incidents, noting that while isolated occurrences of tornadoes or hurricanes damaging wind turbines have been documented, they remain exceptionally infrequent. Ryan highlighted that regulatory requirements vary across states regarding the minimum distance between turbines and other structures, ensuring that these massive turbines are not erected in close proximity to residential areas or other occupied buildings.

Currently, there are close to 73,000 wind turbines operational across the United States, with a significant concentration in the central region known as the wind belt. Stretching from Texas to the Dakotas and encompassing states like Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, this region is characterized by ample wind resources, making it an ideal location for wind energy generation. Despite the rare occurrence of severe weather events impacting wind farms, the industry remains resilient, contributing to the nation's renewable energy landscape.  



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