Wind Power Investors Fleeced: Teenage Turbines Falling Apart in Donegal

hepburn wind2

Hepburn Wind’s maintenance team applying scheduled hugs.


Wind power outfits still make wild claims about these things running on the smell of an oily rag and lasting for 25 years or more, needing little more than a hug from time to time. However, the operations and maintenance cost of these things is around $25 per MWh – hardly the zero marginal cost claimed by wind cultists (see our post here).

Gearbox, bearing, generator and blade failures are common features of wind turbine operation; and the cost of replacing and repairing these things has the potential to wipe out profits and shareholder value in a veritable heartbeat, just ask Australia’s most notorious wind power outfit, Infigen (see our post here).

The truth is that wind turbines are lucky to have an economic life of anything more than 10 years (see our post here).

Proof of that fact is not simply limited to the hundreds of these things that have self immolated in fits of spontaneous combustion:

Texas turbine fire 02

Nor is it limited to the hundreds of them that have lost their battle with gravity:

turbine collapse ireland

And the thousands of them that have determined to throw their blades to the four winds:


Oh no, the ability to drop the 60-80 tonnes or so of their hub/blade assemblies from 90m above is well and truly part of their theatrical repertoire, as seen in this example from Germany:

turbine rotor germany

In this story from the Emerald Isle, a fleet of these things in Donegal are determined to retire as mere teenagers; no doubt leaving a band of gullible investors ruing the day.

Concern over condition of Barnesmore wind turbines despite reassurances from owners
Donegal Now
Siobhan McNamara
8 June 2016


People in the Barnesmore area have voiced concern after it was noticed that the head of a wind turbine was lying on the ground.

Paul Ferguson from Barnesmore windfarm owners Scottish Power Renewables told the Donegal Post / Donegal Now that this was due to planned maintenance work. He said this type of work typically took place over the summer months.

However with the lifespan of a wind turbine estimated to be around 20 years, there are local concerns that the 19 year-old turbines could be at serious risk of damage from wear and tear.

The county has already seen a number of incidents where supposedly safe turbines fell or had a blade break off and travel some distance from the turbine.

One Barnesmore woman who preferred not to be named said: “When they first came here I thought it was a good thing. We were happy to go along with it because it was supposed to be better for the environment and bring the cost of electricity down. Now you see those new giant windmills going up at Leghowney and you wonder how they ever got permission to do that and I don’t see my electricity getting any cheaper.”

The woman said she had been speaking to a neighbour about the new turbines at Meenadreen and he told her: “They’re like big claws, and us the eejits that let them get their big claws into us.”

Windfarm development remains controversial. Advocates say the production of renewable energy far outweighs any visual impact and is vital in reducing greenhouse gas production.

Those opposed say there are other ways to achieve the same goal without the unsightly turbines and the effects on tourism and health.

Whatever way you look at it, Donegal is certainly carrying far more than its fair share of Ireland’s green energy burden.
Donegal Now

turbine fintona 4jpg

Another early ‘retirement’ in Ireland.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Another Injustice to Ireland, partly self-inflicted, partly the work of anti-nuclear EU fossil fuel fanatics.
    W.B.Yeats wrote of “the seeming needs of my fool-driven land”.
    Praise Be to the Red Tape that prevented an armada of these things off the coast of County Down, at Kilkeel and Annalong.


    Imposing in there hundreds,
    Such an army on display,
    Those alien grey metal monsters
    I saw while on my way.
    Aliens on our shores have landed,
    So tall, backs straight and true,
    At night they watch through flashing eyes
    Of red, at me and you.

    Some have scaled the mountains,
    Others near schools and homes,
    Of one thing I am certain,
    Those aliens have no souls.
    No “whispering” from their ranks at all,
    An unearthly sound they make,
    It envelops each and everyone,
    No more can humans take.

    Three giant arms revolving,
    Enveloping all around,
    They’re here to ‘save the planet’,
    The biggest “con” I have found.
    Such hideous tall grey monsters,
    Invade green and pleasant lands,
    To stay for generations,
    Unless the people make a stand.

    These aliens feed on power and wind,
    Without either, they will die,
    They’re NOT environmental friendly,
    They’re for profit, (at a cost), that’s WHY.

  3. Peter Pronczak says:

    Today lunchtime 17/06/2016 on Australian ABC Radio National program, the World Today, Christine Milne, of the Greens political party, stated that they support high speed rail – (only problem is that all the passengers will have to pedal really, really fast).
    ELECTION 2016 PANEL: Christine Milne, Alannah MacTiernan and Alan Eggleston

    In reality, how are they going to get sufficient energy not just to construct the assumedly maglev required steel rail and the trains themselves, but the power to make them move?

    Wind turbines, solar panels & batteries? This idea has been plucked out of thin air: Is there an engineer anywhere in the world who would be game enough to say that the so called renewable energy sources could cost effectively make such an idea work?
    I don’t think so. It’s as crazy as wind turbines themselves.
    Talk about Pinoccio & planned maintenance work.

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