GE is investigating a second blade failure within a year at a wind farm in Sweden using some of its latest onshore turbines after an incident witnessed by a family with children nearby.
A blade on one of the GE 5.3MW-158 Cypress machines at the Bjorkvattnet project became partially detached on Thursday evening, confirmed renewables operator OX2 which manages the site.
Nobody was injured but the incident, which resulted in some debris falling to the ground, was seen by a family with children picking berries nearby.
“It was lucky they weren’t hurt,” one local resident told Recharge.
There were not understood to be extreme winds at the time of the failure.
The 175MW Bjorkvattnet, some 500km north of Stockholm, was last September the scene of a similar incident involving another of the 33 Cypress turbines at the project, which struck a deal to supply most of its electricity to internet titan Google under a power purchase agreement.
OX2 operations and management director Lars Bryngelsson said five turbines had been taken out of service following the latest incident pending an investigation by the operator and GE that will involve the use of drones.
“We don’t want to speculate on the root cause at present,” he said, adding that OX2 has been in touch with the family who witnessed the incident to check on their welfare.
Renewable Energy referred all enquiries to OX2.
Bjorkvattnet in September 2019 was one of the early projects to place an order for the US manufacturer’s new 5MW-plus Cypress machines, which were unveiled in late 2018 featuring the option to use a “revolutionary” two-piece carbon blade designed to aid installation logistics.
A Cypress GE 5.3-158 suffered a blade break in Germany in January while a 5.5MW version collapsed in Lithuania in March.
As well as the earlier blade failure, Bjorkvattnet saw several crane accidents during its construction in 2020 and 2021.
The incident is the second high-profile wind turbine failure in Sweden within a week. A new Nordex turbine collapsed at the 475MW Nysäter project last Saturday.
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