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Operators probe cause of wind turbine fire on Tararua Range  

Credit:  Wind turbine bursts into flames on Tararua Range | Janine Rankin | www.stuff.co.nz ~~

PHIL NOLAN/SUPPLIED
The burning wind turbine being viewed from Bunnythorpe, while smoke also emits from something on the ground.

A number of wind turbines on the Tararua Range have been stopped after one of them burst into flames.

An incident investigation has been launched following the fire on Wednesday afternoon, which could be seen from Palmerston North and Feilding.

Wind farm owner Mercury and operator Vestas have yet to establish the cause.

A spokesman for Mercury said they had been alerted to the fire at its Tararua Wind Farm by on-site contractors Vestas, who confirmed nobody was in danger and that emergency services were rushing to the site.


SHAUN WILLIAMS/SUPPLIED
Flames can be seen coming from the turbine on Tararua Range.

Fire and Emergency spokesman Murray Dunbar said they were alerted to the turbine fire at 2.40pm.

Three trucks and a water tanker and a helicopter were dispatched. Two fire trucks used a private road to get to the burning turbine.

A spokeswoman for Vestas said the turbine was part of Tararua Wind Farm 3. One of their employees first saw smoke coming from the turbine about 2pm.

No people were near the turbine, and all employees had been accounted for.

SUPPLIED
The wind turbine on fire on the Tararua Range in Manawatū.

Five connected turbines in the area have been taken out of service and could be offline for several weeks. An incident investigation has been started.

She said it was too early to comment on or confirm the cause of the fire.

The Tararua wind farm was built in three stages, and was until recently owned by Tilt Renewables.

It was one of the oldest wind farms in New Zealand, which has been operating for more than 20 years.


DAVID UNWIN/STUFF
The turbines are owned by Mercury Energy.

Earlier this year energy generator Mercury joined with Powering Australian Renewables to buy Tilt’s New Zealand wind farms including Waipipi in Taranaki and Mahinerangi in Otago.

The buy-out was worth about $770 million. It made Mercury the main owner of the wind farms along the Tararua Range.

Mercury is building the $465m Turitea wind farm to the south of the older wind farms.

WARWICK SMITH/STUFF
Mercury’s Turitea wind farm lies south of the Tararua wind farm where a turbine is on fire.

Source:  Wind turbine bursts into flames on Tararua Range | Janine Rankin | www.stuff.co.nz

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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