Last week the press went wild over a wind turbine suffering one lost blade and a second damaged blade. Was it a cow, was it a plane, was it a UFO? Maybe it was the eerie mangled looking photographs or maybe it was because wind turbines are also still seen by some members of the public as mysterious sci-fi structures and not to be trusted.
The Daily Mail even went as far as saying that the UFO beings were smart to damage the wind turbines because the devices interfere with the scenic beauty of the countryside. “Proof at last … aliens in UFOs are far more intelligent than we are”. Maybe it was Daily Mail reading vandals?
After a week of silence on his blog, Ecotricity’s Dale Vince speaks out on Zero Carbonister to clarify that although he believes in intelligent life out there, they are unlikely to have accidently crashed into a wind turbine – unless of course turbines emit some kind of infrasonic noise which attracts alien craft. I can just hear this new wind farm myth at my next wind energy project exhibition.
The blade was of course not missing but found at the bottom of the turbine and potential causes of the damage are listed as ice, lightning, collision (including UFO and cows), material failure, design failure and maintenance failure.
Material or maintenance failure are the reasons chosen as the most likely candidates with the results of testing still eagerly waiting from German manufacturers Enercon. It sounds as though Enercon might not be looking after its fleet of wind turbines as well as it could do.