A BBC Scotland report which last night claimed that a Borders wind farm had been shut down ‘after turbine part falls off’ was dismissed as misleading after both the operator and the wind turbine manufacturer said it was a spare part which had been stored on the ground.
The three-metre-long turbine component, which is made of fibreglass, was found close to the Longpark wind farm near Stow.
EDF Renewables, which operates the 19-turbine wind farm, closed it down as a precaution.
But a spokesman explained last night: “We have identified the component found at the road side adjacent to Longpark wind farm and can confirm that it was being stored at ground level at the site and that it did not detach or fall from any of the turbines.
‘The component is a fibreglass spoiler which is normally attached to the turbine blades to improve their efficiency. They are not however integral to the turbines and the wind farm can operate normally without them.
‘Work has been carried out at Longpark recently as part of a maintenance regime on these spoilers and a number of spoilers had been removed from turbines and were being stored at the site.
‘An inspection carried out at the wind farm with turbine manufacturer Senvion, has shown that all of the spoilers which were not removed as part of the maintenance work are still in place on the relevant turbines.
‘EDF Energy Renewables believes that it is unlikely that this spoiler, one of those being stored at ground level, could have found its way to the road side due to the wind and will continue to investigate how it could have been displaced. ‘In the meantime the wind farm will resume normal operations.’
Plans to build another nine turbines at the site have been submitted to the Scottish government by Wind Prospect Developments on behalf of EDF Energy.
An Edinburgh-based spokeswoman for Senvion – the German company which manufactures these turbines – said: “All of the 19 MM82-type turbines at this site have been switched off and Senvion engineers are at the site working with the wind farm owner, EDF Energy Renewables, to investigate how the component came to be at the road side. We are unable to comment further until the investigation is completed.”
Senvion has installed around 300 turbines of this type in the UK, and more than 1,000 worldwide.