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Wind firms promise to learn lessons from collapse

Green energy firms have pledged to learn quickly from the dramatic collapse of a 100m-tall wind turbine in Northern Ireland.

The £2M turbine, supplied by Nordex UK, fell to the ground at Screggagh Windfarm in County Tyrone at 9pm on Friday 2 January.

Screggagh Windfarm is looking into what went wrong, while Nordex is examining the other turbines on the site to ensure they are safe.

Trade body RenewableUK said any lessons picked up from these studies 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.”

Streatfeild added that tough safety procedures already existed for wind energy.

“For all wind turbines, there’s a rigorous process in place to ensure that installation standards are adhered to strictly,” he said.

“This includes a detailed risk assessment so that every turbine is sited in a safe place. We want to ensure that the UK’s 4,765 medium and large onshore wind turbines continue to operate safely and smoothly.

“No member of the public has ever been injured by a wind turbine operating in the UK. RenewableUK takes practical steps to improve safety standards by overseeing the running of specialist courses, as well as certifying best practice by wind farm developers.

“We work hard to ensure that lessons learned are shared as widely as possible among our member companies so that everyone can benefit from the experience of others, to continually improve standards.”

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