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Safety fears after two Scots wind turbines broke apart during Storm Gerrit 

Credit:  By Norman Silvester | 7 JAN 2024 | dailyrecord.co.uk ~~

An energy firm is being asked to investigate the safety of all its wind turbines after two broke apart during a storm. The Sunday Mail told last week how one in Ayrshire spun out of control during Storm Gerrit, causing the 34-metre blades to fly through the air.

But around the same time, a turbine in Fife, also owned by Surrey-based Constantine Wind Energy, was destroyed in bad weather. Colin Morrison, from Crail, who spotted the debris on farmland close to his home and near residential areas, said the firm needed to take action.

The damaged turbine on land between Kingsbarns and Crail. (Image: Reach PLC)

Retired engineer Colin, 65, said: “It appears the spindle holding the blades sheared through completely. It may have been caused by Storm Gerrit or perhaps a mechanical failure that just happened to give way at this time.

“There is housing not far from this site, there’s a farm track regularly used by walkers and the main St Andrews road is about 400 metres away. I’m not convinced that this turbine is sited in a suitable position from a safety perspective.”

He reported the incident to the Health and Safety Executive and Constantine. Colin also discovered the door to the turbine tower was unlocked and its ladder could be accessed easily.

Councillor Alycia Hayes, who lives in nearby Kingsbarns and can see the turbine from her home, said: “I am concerned local residents and people using the main road are all at risk and that these two incidents have happened involving the same company.

“I would expect there to be a full investigation into the cause of this failure.”

Footage of the Ayrshire turbine failure showed the top sparking before catching fire and three blades then flying off. Aileen Jackson, spokeswoman for campaign group Scotland Against Spin (SAS), said: “Unfortunately these two incidents are anything but rare.

“It is, however, an incredible coincidence that two turbines of similar age operated by the same company should fail around the same time in different parts of the country.”

Constantine Wind Energy said: “Constantine are still investigating the incident with our maintenance suppliers.”

An HSE spokeswoman said: “We are aware of an incident and are currently making enquiries.”

Source:  By Norman Silvester | 7 JAN 2024 | dailyrecord.co.uk

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 educational 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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