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Stow windfarm bosses at EDF say spoiler was taken down by workers

Operators of the Longpark wind farm near Stow have said the spoiler found by the side of a public road near to the farm had been removed from a 110 metre turbine by engineers.

The 3m fin-like component was spotted by Stow businessman Graeme Steel at Allanshaws between Stow and Wooplaw.

He believed it had been ripped from the turbine by high winds and could have caused serious injury or death.

Police, the Health and Safety Executive and Scottish Borders Council were alerted on Tuesday night.

Operators EDF Energy Renewables shut down the £33million farm’s 19 turbines and launched a joint on-site investigation with turbine manufacturers, Senvion.

And today EDF issued a statement saying the spoiler was one a number that had been removed as part of a maintenance programme and believe it had been moved from a storage area to the roadside where it was found.

An EDF spokesman said: “We have identified the component found at the roadside adjacent to the Longpark wind farm and can confirm that it was being stored at ground level at the site and that it did not detach or fall from any of the turbines.

“The component is a fibreglass spoiler which is normally attached to the turbine blades to improve their efficiency. They are not however integral to the turbines and the wind farm can operate normally without them.

“Work has been carried out at Longpark recently as part of a maintenance regime on these spoilers and a number of spoilers had been removed from turbines and were being stored at the site.

“An inspection carried out at the wind farm with turbine manufacturer Senvion, has shown that all of the spoilers which were not removed as part of the maintenance work are still in place on the relevant turbines.

“EDF Energy Renewables believes that it is unlikely that this spoiler, one of those being stored at ground level, could have found its way to the roadside due to the wind, and will continue to investigate how it could have been displaced.

“In the meantime the wind farm will resume normal operations.”

The EDF spokesman added that they planned to replace the spoilers that have been removed.

Mr Steel has contacted the company and said their statement raises more questions than answers.

The 38 megawatt wind farm was refused planning permission by Scottish Borders Council but that decision was overruled by the Scottish Government.