It might be months before investigators know why a wind turbine toppled last week in a Jefferson County cornfield.

Engineers from Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources — which owns the 44-turbine Steele Flats wind farm in Gage and Jefferson counties — will study what remains of the crumpled turbine, said spokesman Bryan Garner.

They’ll work with representatives from General Electric, the turbine’s builder, but he said it could take weeks or months to determine what happened.

Residents near Diller awoke June 13 to discover something missing from the horizon. The 1.7-megawatt turbine — 262 feet tall at the hub, 422 feet at the tip of the blade — had gone off-line at about 5 a.m. Tuesday, folding over about four miles south of town.

Last week, company officials said they saw so evidence of sabotage, and didn't believe the collapse was weather-related.

The Steele Flats wind farm, capable of powering about 19,000 homes, started producing electricity in October 2013.

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The company invested $138 million in the farm, including the turbines, substation and collection lines, though Garner could not say what a single turbine was worth.

He also couldn’t yet say whether the company will rebuild on the same site.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7254 or psalter@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter.



Peter Salter is a reporter.

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