Wind turbines alert after Cornwall collapse

The manufacturer of a wind turbine which collapsed in north Cornwall has written to other owners over concerns about the turbine towers' construction.

Scottish firm Gaia-Wind has identified a potential problem with the tower which collapsed at North Petherwin.

It has written to the owners of 15 of the same turbines to help "in checking their foundation fixing systems for reassurance".

The firm said the problem affected an early version since replaced.

The 55ft (17m) high turbine collapsed at Winsdon Farm on 30 January, three days after another 115ft (35m) turbine, not connected with Gaia-Wind, collapsed in north Devon.

'Good track record'

Gaia-Wind said the "issue" affected the foundations of its "first generation" of towers which were built before 2010.

It said the towers were tubular and fixed by rods into concrete bases.

Martin Paterson from Gaia Wind said: "We are looking into this fixing bit for these very few first generation of towers.

"As EU standards developed in this quite new field we have developed the fixing and other elements of the towers so that post 2010 towers and their fixing systems are a different set up with no issues."

Merlin Hymans, chief executive of renewable energy centre Regen South West said: "Wind turbines have a very good track record.

"We are not aware of anyone being harmed by a wind turbine in the 30-odd year history of the industry.

"But it's very important that health and safety are at the heart of the industry and when an incident like this occurs it is very important the industry takes it seriously."

The Health and Safety Executive is investigating the incident.

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