10 February 2009
Interim report rules out UFO’s
The damage to one of Ecotricity’s wind turbines at Fen Farm, Lincolnshire, was not caused by a UFO a report has concluded. Speculation reached fever pitch after a number of local people reported seeing strange lights in the sky in the vicinity of the wind park.
Following several weeks of forensic examination of the turbines components the manufacturer, Enercon, has today issued a report ruling out ‘collision’ as a possible cause. This interim report has concluded that bolts securing the blade to the hub of the turbine failed due to ‘material fatigue’. The bolts used to attached the blade to the hub of the turbine exhibited classic signs of fatigue failure.
Enercon have ruled out bolt defect due to the nature of the failure and the investigation is now looking into 'supporting components' - those parts on either side of the blots. If one of these supporting components failed it would induce stress in the bolts beyond their design limits and cause failure. Further tests are currently being carried out.
“We hope to have the results back in a few weeks. It's a job of separating cause from effect now - we can see which bits are broken, but which bits failed first is the bit that needs forensic investigation - it's all clever stuff”, said Dale Vince OBE, MD Ecotricity.
Ecotricity continue to liaise closely with The Health & Safety Executive and East Lindsey council. Both are satisfied with the way the investigation is progressing. A thorough inspection of all the turbines at Fen Farm Wind Park has been carried out. Ecotricity, Enercon and the HSE have no concerns with the ongoing safety of this, or any other, wind park.