Villagers were woken by a 300ft wind turbine crashing down on a Welsh mountainside – after it was blown over during storms which brought 50pmh winds.
The ÂŁ20million turbine – double the height of Nelson’s Column – snapped apart and blades crumpled in raging wind.
Families in the nearby village of Gilfach Goch, near Bridgend, South Wales, told how it sounded like ‘thunder and lightning’.
It woke them at around 6.50am on Monday morning and echoed around the valley below.
The 29-turbine Pant Y Wal wind farm opened in 2013 and makes enough power for 19,000 homes – until one was wrecked in the storm at the weekend.
Villagers are questioning how the turbine could have fallen apart during winds of around 50mph and demand officials check the status of neighbouring turbines.
Nordex – the company that manufactured the turbine – said an investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the collapse.
A renewable energy industry expert, who wanted to remain anonymous, told MailOnline that a collapsing turbine is a ‘real rarity’, adding there ‘are more than 10,000 of them up and down the country’. He suggested the materials might have been faulty, but insisted it was ‘very unlikely to be the local wind speed’ that brought it down.
Neighbour Lydia Stephens wrote: ‘A wind turbine fell over in the wind farm on my village this morning and I thought it was thunder and lighting but how the hell does a wind turbine fall over?
‘Apparently it was creaking and banging all night before it collapsed and one woman thought it was her neighbours tumble dryer.’
Fellow villagers Ricky Williams described it as ‘a bang like thunder early hours.’
Other villagers said they were worried over the safety of the turbines following the collapse.
Sharon Westgate said: ‘We need to start saying no to these surely? We don’t get any thing from them! Thank God nobody was hurt!’
Labour Councillor Aurfron Roberts called on wind farm owners to carry out further checks on turbines.
She said: ‘We have had some extreme weather here lately – some very strong winds and gales.
‘It’s a surprise because they are well maintained – there are always maintenance vehicles up there checking the turbines all through the night.
‘The whole village is surrounded by turbines, we have so many projects going on in the hills around her. I’m just glad they are up on the hillside and away from people in case something like this happens.
‘I hope this means owners will be extra vigilant and take care. It’s probably just a really unfortunate accident but it’s lucky no one was hurt.
‘I’m not surprised the sound woke people. The village is surrounded by hills so the sound revs around and you would hear it crashing.’
Owners Pennant Walters said any questions relating to the wind turbine collapse should be directed to manufactures Nordex – who make and deliver turbines around the world.
A spokesman for Nordex told MailOnline: ‘Unfortunately an incident occurred at the Pant Y Wal wind farm in Wales. On Monday February 14, 2022, a N90/2500 turbine collapsed. No persons were injured.
‘The only material damage that has occurred as a result of the incident is to the turbine itself.
‘All necessary safety measures have been implemented immediately after the incident.
‘A team of local Nordex specialists with experts from Nordex main office are currently investigating the root cause of the incident together with the wind farm owner.
‘As yet, no reliable statement can be made as to the underlying cause of the collapse.
‘The Pant Y Wal wind farm is composed of 29 N90/2500 turbines, 21 of those have been in operation since end of 2013, including the collapsed turbine.’
A spokesman for Rhondda Cynon Taff Council: ‘The Council is in contact with Penant Walters Ltd and the neighbouring local authority Bridgend CBC, where the majority of turbines constructed as part of this wind farm, including the one collapsed, are located on high ground.
‘The Council is keen to ascertain what may have caused this failure and is seeking assurance, that all reasonable steps have been taken by the land owner, to secure access to this remote location, to reduce any potential risks to the public, utilising footpaths upon this remote hill-top location.’
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