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Associated Press, Published March 24 2011

Wind turbine accident near Rugby pegged to bolt failure

BISMARCK — A North Dakota regulator says bolt failures caused a wind turbine's rotor and blades to fall from a tower north of Rugby.

North Dakota Public Service Commission utility analyst Jerry Lein (LEAN) says six other wind turbines have been shut down so bolts can be replaced.

The wind farm has 71 towers. It was dedicated last October. The project is capable of generating 149 megawatts of electricity.

The commission on Thursday said it would ask for a meeting with the wind project's developers to hear their explanation of what happened.

Lein says the bolts attach the rotor and blades to a shaft that transfers power to an electric generator. The accident happened March 14.

The wind turbine was made by Suzlon Wind Energy Corp. Iberdrola Renewables Inc. owns the project.