Northern Ireland

Screggah windfarm turbine collapse cause identified

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Media captionThe turbine collapsed in January scattering debris over a wide area

A blade control system has been blamed for the destruction of a 100-metre wind turbine near Fintona in County Tyrone.

The turbine collapsed during light winds on Friday 2 January, scattering debris more than 250 metres away on the Screggah windfarm on Murley mountain.

People in the area said the rotor blades were spinning out of control on the evening the turbine buckled.

The sound of the failing mechanical structure was heard more than seven miles away.

Some people said the sound was like thunder. Others report grinding and the sound of metal against metal.

'Unique fault'

Another seven turbines - valued at £2M each - were shut down while an investigation was carried out by the supplier, Nordex.

"Nordex has concluded its interim investigation and confirmed that this was a unique fault concerning the wind turbine blade control system," the director of Screggagh Windfarm, Doreen Walker, said.

Image caption A blade control system has been blamed for the collapse

"This has not been previously seen in the Nordex fleet, and is applicable only to turbines of a similar generation to those provided for Screggagh windfarm.

"Following identification of the failure mechanism, Nordex has immediately implemented an additional protective measure to exclude any reoccurrence of this incident."

The company said the windfarm generated enough power to meet the electricity demand of nearly 11,927 homes on an annual basis.

The remaining turbines will be switched back on on Saturday 14 February.

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