Shooter causes $25-40K of damage to windmill

Published 8:23 am Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Someone shot at a windmill at the Prairie Star wind farm Saturday, incurring $25,000 to $40,000 of damage, according to Sheriff Terese Amazi.

Amazi said Prairie Star’s operations manager filed a complaint Sunday after the wind farm’s computer mainframe indicated the power generator on windmill 39, located at the 21400 block of 770th Avenue in Dexter, went offline between 5:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. The generator reportedly powered off because it lost pressure in the motor.

When the manager investigated the windmill, he found two bullet holes in the motor, located at the top of the wind tower and encased in a fiberglass shell. Amazi said someone must have shot at the wind tower from the ground.

Prairie Star will have to take apart part of the tower to replace the engine, which could incur between $25,000 and $40,000 in expenses. Amazi said the investigation is ongoing.