History of turbine/blade manufacturer Siemens is riddled with bribery, corruption, and other scandals
An East County Magazine special investigative report
By Miriam Raftery
Sierra Robinson, Sholeh Sisson and Jim Pelley also contributed to this report
May 16, 2013 (Ocotillo)—One day after San Diego Supervisors ignored residents’ safety concerns and approved a wind ordinance that would open much of East County to industrial wind turbines, a wind turbine at the Ocotillo Express Wind Energy facility hurled off an 11-ton blade. The blade, manufactured by Siemens, landed on a trail used by off-road vehicles. The accident has shut down the wind facility pending investigation into the cause. View video shot by Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley:
An investigation by East County Magazine reveals a dark history of serious safety hazards involving Siemens’ wind products as well as a corporate past that includes guilty pleas to corruption on a global scale, including accusations of bribery and other serious charges in at least 20 nations.
Siemens contracted with Pattern Energy, a company with its own checkered corporate past, as ECM has previously reported, to build the controversial project on public land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Ocotillo and paid for with taxpayer subsidies. Pattern's corporate predecessor also built the Kumeyaay Wind project in Campo, which blew apart in 2010, whirling blade parts over the area. All 75 blades on all 25 turbines had to be replaced; the project was off-line for months.