Thousands of people watched a live stream of the demolition of a damaged wind turbine in Þykkvabær last night. According to Ásgeir Margeirsson, who managed the operation on behalf of the owners of the turbine, the blades of the turbine’s rotor had caught fire and started spinning on New Year’s Day. It was considered to be hazardous to leave it in that condition, especially considering the stormy weather that is forecast tonight. “Therefore, it was a priority to bring down the wind turbine as soon as possible,” Ásgeir says. He adds that the decision to demolish the turbine was made on Monday, and the operation started the day after.
The felling of the turbine, which was carried out with controlled explosions, took much longer than the explosives experts that oversaw the operation had anticipated.
The wind turbine was 60 metres tall [197 ft] and weighed more than twenty tonnes. The explosive ordnance disposal unit (EOD) at the Icelandic Coast Guard had hoped that one explosion would suffice to bring down the turbine, but they did not succeed until after the sixth one.
Margeirsson says he is happy that the operation turned out to be successful in the end, and adds that he is extremely grateful for the service of the Police, the Icelandic Coastguard and the local authorities, who all participated in the project.
“An extraordinarily complex task”
Explosives expert Ásgeir Guðjónsson said in an interview with Vísir that the operation was one the most difficult projects that the EOD had ever been involved with.
“The tower of the wind turbine was made of two centimetres [0.7 inches] thick steel. Felling a steel tower of this kind is an extraordinarily complex task. These are, in fact, the most complex controlled explosions that are carried out. We are certainly explosives experts, but this is definitely not a run-of-the-mill operation,” Guðjónsson said.He added that in the end, the project was successful, and said that he hoped that those who watched the live stream had a good time.
Margeirsson says that cleaning operations are already underway and that the remaining debris will be recycled. “It is one of the great things about renewable energy, that wind turbines can be demolished and then recycled,” Margeirsson adds.
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