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No safety issue claims Borders wind farm firm

A major wind farm near Stow was switched off last Wednesday after the discovery of a turbine part next to a rural road.

But operators EDF Energy Renewables had the 19 turbines at Longpark turning again the following day.

It was feared that high winds had caused the spoiler component to detach.

Following a joint investigation with turbine manufacturer Senvion the wind farm was given the all clear.

A spokesman told us: “EDF Energy Renewables has identified the component found at the road side adjacent to its 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.”

Checks were carried out on all 19 of the MM82 110-metre high turbines.

It remains unclear how the three-metre fibreglass spoiler reached the side of the B6362.

The spokesman added: “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 road side due to the wind and will continue to investigate how it could have been displaced.”

But the local businessman who discovered the spoiler isn’t convinced.

Graeme Steel from Stow Construction, who is an anti wind farm campaigner, believes the part was blown from a turbine. He told us: “There is a turbine at Longpark without a part – you can see it from the road – and I find the part around half a mile away next to the road.

“The part had adhesive residue around it, it’s not some spare part that’s been lying around.

“I’ll let people make up their own mind.

“For me an urgent safety check should be carried out at all wind farms.”