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MP urges wind energy planning vigilance

A Tory MP has urged planning authorities to be vigilant in the wake of the wind turbine collapse in Northern Ireland.

A 100m-tall turbine, supplied by Nordex UK, fell to the ground at Screggagh Windfarm in County Tyrone at 9pm on Friday 2 January.

Investigations are underway into the cause of the incident, and no blame has been attached at this point.

Conservative MP for Daventry Chris Heaton-Harris, who is also head of campaign group Together Against Wind, told NCE: “There have been very few instances of wind turbines collapsing in the last few months; however I think it is right that local planning authorities ensure that they are confident that public safety is not put at risk. 

“I am keeping a close eye on these matters going forward.”

Wind energy is at the forefront of UK attempts to meet renewables targets, and has been blighted by scrapped projects in recent months.

Trade body RenewableUK said any lessons picked up from investigations by Nordex UK and Screggagh Windfarm would be quickly passed on to the rest of the industry.

RenewableUK director of health and safety Chris Streatfeild said: “A thorough investigation is already underway into what happened in this extremely rare incident.

“The wind industry takes health and safety issues very seriously, and the lessons learned from this will be implemented as swiftly as possible.”

Screggagh Windfarm director Doreen Walker said that the site’s health and safety alert process “worked well” following the turbine collapse. Emergency services attended within minutes of the incident, she said, and there were no injuries.

“All of the debris from the collapsed wind turbine was contained within the windfarm site. No debris went on to the public road or neighbouring land holdings,” she added.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I do get a little tired of Chris Streatfield describing these incidents as "extremely rare". There have been 5 structural collapses in the past month . Perhaps he should look at the CWIF data more often !

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