South Scotland

Borders wind farm shut down after turbine part 'falls off'

turbine Image copyright Graeme Steel
Image caption The wind turbine component was found by the side of a minor road near Stow.

A wind farm in the Borders has been shut down after part of a turbine was found by a roadside.

The three-metre-long turbine component, which is made of fibreglass, was found close to the Longpark wind farm near Stow.

Local people believe it fell off one of the turbines during recent stormy weather.

EDF Energy Renewables, which operates the wind farm, confirmed it had begun an investigation into the incident.

Image copyright Graeme Steel
Image caption Local people said the piece of fibre glass measures about three metres long.

A spokesman for the firm said: "EDF Energy Renewables is investigating how the component, which is made of fibreglass, came to be at the roadside.

"Engineers from turbine manufacturer Senvion are also attending the site to assist with this.

"In the meantime, all of the 19 turbines at the site have been switched off as a precaution."

The part was found by local businessman Graeme Steel on Tuesday, who raised the alarm.

A Police Scotland spokesman said the turbines were switched off for "safety purposes" but there was not thought to be any danger to the public.

He added: "The turbines will now remain shut down until EDF and the Health and Safety Executive have conducted an investigation into the incident."

John Williams, chairman of Heriot community council, said: "This part has fallen off a turbine and it has clearly blown a considerable distance on to a minor road.

"But it is a road that is quite well used by local people and this could have caused a nasty accident."

Mr Williams said engineers had recently fitted "spoilers" to the root of the blades. He believes that is what has been found by the roadside.

Image copyright Dougie Johnston
Image caption Local people believe the component was a spoiler recently fitted to the base of blades.

A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council said EDF Energy Renewables responded quickly following the discovery of the debris.

He added: "It is the responsibility of all wind farm operators to ensure that turbines are operating safely at all times.

"The Health and Safety Executive is the responsible enforcement authority during construction and operation of all wind farms and has been informed about the incident."

Longpark wind farm has been in operation since 2009. Fifteen turbines are 100m tall, from their base to the tip of the blades, while four are 110m tall.

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.

Earlier this month a wind turbine collapsed near Fintona in County Tyrone, scattering debris over a wide area.

Image copyright Dougie JOHNSTON

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