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‘Damaged part’ sparked 9.5MW fire; MHI Vestas points finger at component within V164 converter module

MHI Vestas has blamed a component damaged during installation for the fire that destroyed its 9.5MW offshore wind turbine prototype in August.

The Danish manufacturer said the root cause was “unique to a prototype environment” and that the release of its upgraded V164 “remains on schedule”.

The component in question was within the turbine’s converter module and was a standard industry part with a solid track record.

It was added “solely as part of testing” the upgrade to 9.5MW at the Osterild test centre in Denmark.

No turbine currently in operation or under construction is at risk, added the company. Investigations were carried out by an independent third party.

MHI Vestas chief technology officer Torben Larsen said: “The incident on 4 August occurred as a result of testing that was directly related to the turbine’s future upgrade to 9.5 MW. While unfortunate, the situation was handled safely and professionally by our technicians on site.”

The prototype at the test field “did satisfy the requirements for the 9.5MW type certificate prior to the incident” said MHI Vestas. Plans for building a new prototype are still being discussed.