Blade Falls From Dundonnell Wind Farm Turbine

Blade falls from Dundonnell Wind Farm turbine, launching investigation

6th October 2020

By Jackson Graham, The Standard

https://www.standard.net.au/story/6957141/wind-farm-stops-after-blade-falls-from-turbine/

LOST BLADE: The wind farm with the missing blade pictured from the Hamilton Highway on Monday. Picture: Supplied.
LOST BLADE: The wind farm with the missing blade pictured from Hamilton Highway. Picture: Supplied.

A BLADE has fallen from a south-west wind farm, launching an investigation to determine exactly how the dangerous incident occurred.

Tilt Renewables chief executive officer Deion Campbell said the blade fell from a turbine hub at the Dundonnell Wind Farm on Monday.

“There were no injuries caused by the incident and there is no damage to any other property or wind turbines to report,” Mr Campbell said.

The blade fell around 8.30pm and the company has since removed all turbines from operation while an investigation of the damage occurs.

“A root cause analysis will be completed in conjunction with the wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, which will inform the assurance process on the other turbines prior to these being returned to service,” Mr Campbell said.

“Appropriate commercial and contractual provisions are in place to mitigate the effects of an incident of this nature and at this time it is not expected to materially impact the business.”

Performance modelling and testing was under way and last week had allowed all 80 turbines to operate for the first time, but the site was only allowed to have a 150 megawatt output. Tilt had plans for the site reach its full 336MW towards the end of 2020.

Darlington resident Hamish Cumming lives near the wind farm and has opposed the development due to its impacts on birds.

He said the community deserved answers about why the blade fell.

“It’s very much a WorkSafe issue if you have something that can fall off when you’re working on your farm or animals,” Mr Cumming said.

“Tilt needs to tell the community why it failed and then the course of action would follow after why it failed.”


Dundonnell wind farm stops production after blade falls off turbine

7th October 2020

by Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy

One of the Dundonnell turbines, sans blade

More problems have emerged at the massive new Dundonnell wind farm in Victoria, which has stopped production after a blade fell off one of the project’s 80 newly installed Vestas turbines.

The incident on October 5 – which occurred around 7.30pm on Monday night on a turbine that was operating at the time – quickly brought production at all turbines at the Dundonnell wind farm to a halt. The facility has been operating at less than half of its rated 336MW capacity because of constraints imposed by the Australian Energy Market Operator due to unspecified commissioning issues.

In a statement, project owner Tilt Renewables said “a single blade separated from the hub of a turbine and fell to the ground. There were no injuries caused by the incident and there is no damage to any other property or wind turbines to report.”

It went on to say that all wind turbines at the site are currently removed from service whilst an investigation and assessment of the damage is undertaken.

“A root cause analysis will be completed in conjunction with the wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, which will inform the assurance process on the other turbines prior to these being returned to service,” it said.

“Appropriate commercial and contractual provisions are in place to mitigate the effects of an incident of this nature and at this time it is not expected to materially impact the business.”

Tilt Renewables has already foreshadowed a significant reduction in earnings for the current financial year due to the delays in commissioning Dundonnell, which it had hoped would be fully operational by now.

Just over a week ago, Tilt had announced that the project had been allowed to use all its 80 turbines, and move to a new “hold point” of 150MW. It said then it was confident of reaching full capacity by the end of the calendar year.

Nearby resident and prominent wind energy critic Hamish Cumming, who supplied the above photo, said in an email to RenewEconomy that there had been questions about whether the blades had been fatigue tested.

“Others will follow if it is the fatigue issue. This is also a work cover issue for farmers,” he said. Tilt says that claim is nonsense and the turbines are fully compliant and fully tested. Its certification can be found here.

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