Turbines Tumble: Another 230 Metre, 300 Tonne Whirling Wonder Bites the Dust

Throwing their blades to the four winds, spontaneously combusting and collapsing in catastrophic fashion is what wind turbines do best.

Remember, this is the power source that promises a clean, ‘green’ future! And that rural communities just can’t wait have hundreds of these things speared into their backyards. Except, of course, if those backyards belong to former Greens leaders, like Dr Bob Brown.

This time the chaos being delivered by the wind industry is in Swedenl, and not for the first time ….

Giant Vestas wind turbine collapses in northern Sweden
Bloomberg
Lars Paulsson
23 November 2020

A 230-meter tall wind turbine built by Vestas Wind Systems A/S collapsed at a site in northern Sweden over the weekend.

The cause of the accident is unknown and the company is assembling a team that will investigate at the site, spokesman Anders Riis said on Monday by phone. A lot of snow is expected this week, which may delay the work, he said. No one was injured in the incident.

“Today, even risk-averse institutional investors see onshore wind farms as a safe asset class, particularly in established markets like Sweden,” said Oliver Metcalfe, an onshore wind analyst at BloombegNEF in London. “News like this proves that it is impossible to completely eliminate construction risk, even as the industry matures.”

The 4.2-megawatt Vestas V150 turbine, among the biggest onshore facilities in the world , was one of 17 at Aldermyrberget built by developer WPD Scandinavia AB. The facility was due to start operations next month, according to information on its website. Some of the turbines have already been sending power to the grid.

Vestas has installed more than 75,000 turbines and it’s “extremely rare” that accidents like this happen, Riis said.

“We have a very comprehensive investigation process for incidents like this and we initiated that yesterday,” he said. “Now we will start collecting information and get the right people to the site.”

Investment in the wind park is probably in the region of $90 million, Metcalfe estimated. The power has already been sold via a long-term contract to a large industrial company in Sweden.

WPD Chief Executive Officer Maria Roske didn’t respond to requests for comment. She told state broadcaster SVT that it was a very unusual accident and that it will impact the timeline for the project.

Five years ago, one of Vestas’s turbines collapsed at a cite called Lemnhult, also in Sweden. The cause was found to be a lack of correct tensioning of bolts.

Vestas shares fell 1.3% in Copenhagen.
Bloomberg

Vesta’s spin doctor reckons that “it’s “extremely rare” that accidents like this happen” and the wind power outfit’s PR team claims that ‘it was a very unusual accident”.

For their benefit and yours here are a few more of those “extremely rare” events:

turbine collapse fenner NY

Fenner, New York 2009.

wind-turbine-collapse

Kansas, 2014.

turbine-collapse-germany1

Germany, 2014.

IMG_6772

Starfish Hill, South Australia, 2013.

turbine collapse devon

Devon, 2014.

TurbineCollapse mill run 2014

Mill Run, Pennsylvania 2014.

Nebraska, 2014

turbine impsaCollapse

Brazil, 2014.

turbine collapse ireland

Tyrone, Ireland January 2015.

vestas v112

Sweden, December 2015.

Leisnig, Germany, January 2017.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, January 2017.

Kilgallioch, Scotland, February 2017.

Chatham-Kent, Ontario January 2018.

Grant County, Oklahoma May 2019

Pernambuco, Brazil July 2019.

 

With gravity one of nature’s constants, wind farm neighbours can hardly rest assured. Expect more of the same.

Then there is the ‘minor’ issue of ‘component liberation’.

Turbine blade failures, including events where 10-15 tonne blades are thrown to the 4 winds are so common that we have considered running a separate site dedicated to their aerial escapades – here’s a few to whet your appetite for destruction (the captions are linked to the stories behind the pictures):

Now that those who are forced to travel past, live with and work near these things know how exceptional it is for 10-20 tonne blades to be thrown to the 4 winds; how unlikely it is for 60-90 tonne rotors or 80-120 tonne nacelles to drop 90-140m from the heavens; and how rare it is for an entire 200-230m high, 300 tonne turbine to plummet to Earth, we expect you feel a whole lot safer. No?

Welcome to your wind powered future!

fire 6

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December 9, 2020 at 12:31AM

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