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Turbine fire near Aljezur raises safety issues

A turbine at a wind farm in the western Algarve caught fire on Saturday, showering the countryside with red hot material.

Foto DR

The wind turbine at Espinhaço de Cão, in the Aljezur area, is said to be well past its useful life and local fire chiefs have complained of the security of these machines and the threat they cause to the surrounding countryside.

Thankfully, the ground was sodden due to recent rains but has this incident occurred in the dry months, a serious fire could have taken hold.

Fire fighters easily put out localised flames with chiefs angry that there is no way of finding out who the owner is.

In November 2014, a short circuit caused a spectacular fire which destroyed a wind turbine at the Raposeira wind farm, near Budens, Vila do Bispo (pictured above). The 100 metre high turbine was inaccessible to firemen who could do little more than ensure that surrounding area did not catch fire. (HERE)

A study at Edinburgh University by Professor Gordon Hughes, pointed out that calculations for wind farm energy supply and profitability normally are based on a working life of 20 to 25 years but after surveying 3,000 units in the UK, a more accurate estimate is 12 to 15.