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.