Sounding Off: Risks of turbine collapse (Allen Fraser)

Those with an interest in windfarms may be interested to hear about the collapse on Friday 2nd January in light winds of an 80 metre tall 2500kW wind turbine. This turbine was one of eight in the Screggagh wind farm on Murley Mountain in County Tyrone. The industrial sized turbine, valued at over £500,000, collapsed and broke up scattering debris over a wide area. (For sake of comparison the proposed Viking Windfarm turbines are 3600kW and 145 metres tall).

People living in the area said the rotor blades were spinning out of control and the sound of the breaking apart was heard more than 11 kilometres (seven miles) away. Debris from the stricken turbine is scattered across the mountainside up to a kilometre away. A large spike is impaled in the earth several hundred metres from the turbine site. (The attached pictures are courtesy of Padraig McDermott).

Turbine collapses such as this are becoming a more common occurrence worldwide with the proliferation of subsidised windfarms. So great is the concern about such incidents that a new rule has been introduced in Bavaria to regulate the minimum distance of turbines from dwellings. This is because turbines planned for this area will be 200 metres tall.

These new rules introduce a formula for minimum distance from dwellings, i.e. setback distance equals 10xH where “H” is the height of the turbine. Thus for a 200 metre tall turbine the setback distance will be (200metres x 10) two kilometres.

read more:  Shetland Times, in Readers’ Views, Dec 7 2015

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