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Fault which caused wind turbine collapse “unique” – report

Wind farm2250

Wreckage of the collapsed wind turbine near Fintona.

 

A fault which brought down a £2million wind turbine near Fintona last month has been described as “unique” by a report into the incident.

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The 80 metre structure buckled at around 9pm on Friday January 2 after local reports of loud noise emanating from the structure throughout the day.

One of eight in the Screggagh Wind Farm, the sound of the collapse was heard for miles around, with debris scattered up to 264 metres across the hillside. Although Screggagh Wind Farm Ltd assert that no debris left the site boundary.

A report published on Friday by the German manufacturers Nordex, concluded that a fault with the “wind blade control system” was to blame for the collapse.

Released six weeks after the event, investigations by Nordex and consultant firm DNV GL has cleared the remaining seven turbines to be switched back on from Saturday (February 14).

According to Doreen Walker, who owns the site, “This has not been previously seen in the Nordex fleet, and is applicable only to turbines of a similar generation to those provided for Screggagh wind farm.

“Following identification of the failure mechanism, Nordex has immediately implemented an additional protective measure to exclude any reoccurrence of this incident.”

Ms Walker said the turbine had been in uninterrupted operation for almost four years. She also stated that the wind farm site’s precautionary health and safety alert processes worked as intended with local emergency services alerted and in attendance within minutes of the incident taking place.

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There were no injuries and no personnel on site at the time of the incident.

The director continued, “Screggagh wind farm has been completely shut down since the wind turbine collapsed on January 2 2015 so that Nordex could complete a full investigation into the remaining seven wind turbines at the site and confirm that they are safe to operate.

“Nordex technicians have now performed a series of rigorous tests of the safety systems on all remaining turbines, and have confirmed that all of the turbines comply to design specifications and are now safe to restart.

“These tests results have been reviewed by our independent consultants, DNV GL, and they too are satisfied that all of the turbines have passed all tests. Screggagh wind farm will become operational again from this Saturday (February 14).

 

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