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BIG CHUNK OF TURBINE BLADE SHEARS OFF

(see below) Western Morning News Date : 14.01.06 ----------------------------------------------------------------
Western Morning News
  
BIG CHUNK OF TURBINE BLADE SHEARS OFF  
  
Date : 14.01.06  
        
      
Part of a wind turbine blade weighing more than half a ton snapped off and crashed into a field during high winds. A chunk of the 18 metre (59 feet) long blade sheared off at the Cold Northcott windfarm on Bodmin Moor at about 9am yesterday.

Peter Townsend, from the nearby village of St Clether, spotted the damaged blade on the 36 metre (118 feet) high turbine as he was driving past.

He said: "I couldn't help but notice it as I was passing, because a big bit of the blade was missing. It was lying a fair way from the turbine in a field, so it must have flown quite a way after it snapped off.

"Some of these turbines are very close to the road and footpaths, and my house isn't far away.

"I don't like the fact that this can happen, because it's very dangerous."

The Cold Northcott site has 21 turbines which straddle the A395 Launceston to Hallworthy road, just past the village of Piper's Pool.

Operators Cumbria Windfarms said the site has been running since April 1993 and nothing like this had happened there before.

Trevor Gait, the firm's general manager, said: "At the moment we do not know how this has happened, but we will be conducting a full investigation.

"Safety is a top priority for us, and we do everything we can to minimise the risks involved in wind turbines, which are very, very minimal. This is a very rare occurrence."

There are seven operational windfarms in Cornwall and one in Devon, but more are planned for the South West.

Tony Wood, a member of the Den Brook Valley Action Group, which is protesting against a proposed windfarm in Devon, near Okehampton, said the accident was proof of the danger of wind turbines.

He said: "The wind turbines they want to build here will be about 120 metres high, and the tip of their blades will be moving at 150mph at full speed.

"If something that big and that high comes off at high speed it could travel a very long way.

"Most windfarms are near roads, railways, or walking paths, and the dangers are obvious."


Operators Cumbria Windfarms said the site has been running since April 1993 and nothing like this had happened there before.”


December 1993. At Cold Northcott (Cornwall)  wind ‘farm’ a complete blade and rotor broke away from its stem and fell to the ground   This wind ‘farm’ had been opened by Tim Eggar only one month previously.      
The blades on all the machines at Cold Northcott lost their coatings in the first year of operation and had to be replaced:  they were sent up to Wales for this purpose.