One day before the official inauguration, a large wind turbine collapsed in the Ruhr area - it had only been in operation for six months. Fortunately, no one was injured. Now the search for the cause begins.
Haging at the lake (dpa) - One of the nation's largest wind turbines on land has collapsed in a forest in the Ruhr area for an as yet unexplained cause. According to the police on Thursday, there is no evidence of a crime. Nobody was injured in the collapse on Wednesday evening in a forest near Haltern am See .
The wind turbine, which cost around five million euros, had a hub height of 164 meters and the rotor blades reached heights of up to 239 meters. The wind turbine was only put into operation in mid-March together with an identical nearby wheel. The manufacturer is the Hamburg company Nordex. The mining site developer RAG Montan Immobilien (RAG MI) and Stadtwerke Haltern are behind the operating company of the two wind turbines.
The wind turbine was completely destroyed by the collapse, as a spokesman for RAG MI announced. All that remained was a 40-meter-high stump made of concrete parts. The site of the collapse was cordoned off over a large area. The RAG assumes that the debris does not pose a threat to the environment.
The spokesman continued that the wind turbine had run perfectly until it collapsed. The twin system, which is around 450 meters away, was put out of operation for safety reasons immediately after the collapse became known. "It will not be put back into operation until the cause of the accident has been clarified." According to the municipal utilities, the wind turbine was connected to the grid when it collapsed. According to the Haltern fire brigade, it was not very windy.
Because of the corona pandemic, there has been no official inauguration of the “Haltern AV9” wind farm. It should be celebrated on Thursday (September 30th). The park, which consists of the two plants, was built near the previous shaft 9 of the Auguste Viktoria ("AV") coal mine.
According to RAG MI, a forester notified the police and fire brigade at around 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday. At first it was not known whether he had also seen the collapse himself. A police helicopter later searched the area with a thermal imaging camera in order to locate any injured people.
Experts should now determine the cause of the collapse - they are expected on Friday. According to the RAG MI spokesman, both the manufacturer Nordex and the operating company have commissioned experts.
In March, RAG announced that the two turbines were among the largest onshore wind turbines in Germany. At that time, a total of 10.8 million euros was invested in the construction. Each system has a nominal output of 4.5 megawatts. Together, they should generate an average amount of electricity per year that corresponds to the consumption of around 6,600 three-person households.
How often wind turbines completely collapse is not known, as no official statistics are kept. The Federal Wind Energy Association is aware of six such cases since 2005, as a spokesman said. Following previous incidents with wind turbines, the Association of TÜV Organizations demanded that the federal government include these systems in the scope of the Industrial Safety Ordinance. The safety of wind turbines is currently being checked too seldom.
Translated into English using Google Translate