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Since New Years Eve, it's been quite windy in Denmark, and of the +6000 wind turbines in the country one of them apparently had to succumb to the pressure after many years of service.

Clean Power

Vestas Turbine Catches Fire In Danish New Year Storm

Since New Years Eve, it’s been quite windy in Denmark, and of the +6000 wind turbines in the country one of them apparently had to succumb to the pressure after many years of service.

Since New Years Eve, it’s been quite windy in Denmark, and of the +6000 wind turbines in the country one of them apparently had to succumb to the pressure after many years of service. TV2 TVMV.dk reports (with video) that the turbine caught fire on Tuesday afternoon, and that the fire subsequently spread to a farm below. Nobody lives on the farm, but it is still in use for livestock and between 30 and 40 bull calves were in the buildings.

“The turbine stands where just below there is a two-sided farm with these bull calves. The wings have fallen into the building, and the barn has caught fire, which we have tried to control,” says Lars Stensbjerg, who is the leader of Fire and Rescue MidtVest.

Lucky for the bull calves the wind had a direction keeping them out of harm’s way. They are all being rescued.

According to Vestas press officer Anders Riis, it’s an old turbine. “When the fire has stopped, we will initiate a study of what may be the cause of the fire,” he said to TV2 TVMV.dk.

With the address given I found according to thewindpower.net, this must be the turbine in question: “Commissioning: 1993/03 by Vestas. Hub height: 30 m. Total nominal power: 300 kW. Dismantled (2010/05).” That last bit of information is puzzling. Maybe at was decommissioned and replaced or maybe it was just standing there and the brakes wore out and made it spin again causing the fire? While accidents with wind turbines are indeed spectacular, let’s also keep in mind that they are very rare.

One year ago we reported that Denmark had a record wind energy year in 2017 and it will be interesting to see if 2018 will beat that. Also, as turbines get larger, they get lower in numbers. In fact, if the current +6000 turbines in Denmark keep getting updated, it could easily mean a doubling of nameplate capacity with a third of turbines, and many new turbines are going to be off-shore in the future. So, accidents will probably be even more rare.

Wind profile from energinet.dk. Light green is wind peaking at 4 GW. Yellow icing is solar, and dark greens are conventional power plants.

Image: Richard Humphrey under Creative Commons License.

 
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Written By

Jesper had his perspective on the world expanded vastly after having attended primary school in rural Africa in the early 1980s. And while educated a computer programmer and laboratory technician, working with computers and lab-robots at the institute of forensic medicine in Aarhus, Denmark, he never forgets what life is like having nothing. Thus it became obvious for him that technological advancement is necessary for the prosperity of all humankind, sharing this one vessel we call planet earth. However, technology has to be smart, clean, sustainable, widely accessible, and democratic in order to change the world for the better. Writing about clean energy, electric transportation, energy poverty, and related issues, he gets the message through to anyone who wants to know better. Jesper is founder of Lifelike.dk and a long-term investor in Tesla, Ørsted, and Vestas.

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