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Windfarm shut down after broken turbine blade found on roadside  

Credit:  The Berwickshire News | 14 January 2015 | www.berwickshirenews.co.uk ~~

Safety fears have led to the shutdown of Longpark wind farm near Stow after part of a turbine blade was found on the road side.

A probe by the farm operators and the makers of the 19 turbines – each 110 metres high – is under way amid claims that at least three more components are missing.

Stow businessman Graeme Steel spotted the large fibreglass spoiler on Tuesday at Allanshaws on the road between Stow and Wooplaw.

It’s thought the unit was brought down by high winds and the Health and Safety Executive, police and Scottish Borders Council have all been alerted.

Mr Steel, who lives at nearby, says the incident raises safety issues for Longpark and similarly-designed wind farms.

He said: “I found this large part of the turbine by the side of the road. You can see the turbine from which has the missing piece and it is more than half a mile from where I found it.

“This could easily have caused severe injury and even fatality to anyone using the road.”

“There is a further turbine that is missing three sections of spoilers.

“I did not have time to examine all the turbines, but it does bring into question the robustness of this particular design and manufacture of turbine, wherever they are installed across the UK.”

The £33 million Longpark wind farm is operated by EDF Energy Renewables. They have staff on site and began a probe into what has happened.

A spokesman told us: “EDF is investigating how the component, which is made of fibreglass, came to be at the road side. Engineers from turbine manufacturer Senvion are also attending to site to assist with this.

“In the meantime, all of the 19 turbines at the site have been switched off as a precaution.”

It is unclear how long the farm will be out of operation but it won’t be back on line until a full investigation has been completed.

A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed they had been called to the site on Tuesday night after receiving a report that a fin from a nearby wind turbine had been found on a minor road.

He added: “EDF were immediately informed and all the turbines in the nearby area were shutdown for safety purposes, although there was not considered to be any danger to the public.

“The turbines will now remain shut down until EDF and the Health and Safety Executive have conducted an investigation into the incident.”

Scottish Borders Council confirmed they were aware of what had happened.

Their spokesman told us; “The council always takes public safety very seriously and is pleased that EDF Energy Renewables responded quickly on Tuesday and have taken steps to ensure this incident is investigated fully.

“It is the responsibility of all wind farm operators to ensure that turbines are operating safely at all times.”

“The Health and Safety Executive is the responsible enforcement authority during construction and operation of all wind farms, and has been informed of the incident.”

Source:  The Berwickshire News | 14 January 2015 | www.berwickshirenews.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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