Turbines Tumble: Another 230 Metre, 300 Tonne Whirling Wonder Bites the Dust

Throwing their blades to the four winds, spontaneously combusting and collapsing in catastrophic fashion is what wind turbines do best.

Remember, this is the power source that promises a clean, ‘green’ future! And that rural communities just can’t wait have hundreds of these things speared into their backyards. Except, of course, if those backyards belong to former Greens leaders, like Dr Bob Brown.

This time the chaos being delivered by the wind industry is in Sweden, and not for the first time ….

Giant Vestas wind turbine collapses in northern Sweden
Lars Paulsson
23 November 2020

A 230-meter tall wind turbine built by Vestas Wind Systems A/S collapsed at a site in northern Sweden over the weekend.

The cause of the accident is unknown and the company is assembling a team that will investigate at the site, spokesman Anders Riis said on Monday by phone. A lot of snow is expected this week, which may delay the work, he said. No one was injured in the incident.

“Today, even risk-averse institutional investors see onshore wind farms as a safe asset class, particularly in established markets like Sweden,” said Oliver Metcalfe, an onshore wind analyst at BloombegNEF in London. “News like this proves that it is impossible to completely eliminate construction risk, even as the industry matures.”

The 4.2-megawatt Vestas V150 turbine, among the biggest onshore facilities in the world , was one of 17 at Aldermyrberget built by developer WPD Scandinavia AB. The facility was due to start operations next month, according to information on its website. Some of the turbines have already been sending power to the grid.

Vestas has installed more than 75,000 turbines and it’s “extremely rare” that accidents like this happen, Riis said.

“We have a very comprehensive investigation process for incidents like this and we initiated that yesterday,” he said. “Now we will start collecting information and get the right people to the site.”

Investment in the wind park is probably in the region of $90 million, Metcalfe estimated. The power has already been sold via a long-term contract to a large industrial company in Sweden.

WPD Chief Executive Officer Maria Roske didn’t respond to requests for comment. She told state broadcaster SVT that it was a very unusual accident and that it will impact the timeline for the project.

Five years ago, one of Vestas’s turbines collapsed at a cite called Lemnhult, also in Sweden. The cause was found to be a lack of correct tensioning of bolts.

Vestas shares fell 1.3% in Copenhagen.

Vesta’s spin doctor reckons that “it’s “extremely rare” that accidents like this happen” and the wind power outfit’s PR team claims that ‘it was a very unusual accident”.

For their benefit and yours here are a few more of those “extremely rare” events:

turbine collapse fenner NY
Fenner, New York 2009.
Kansas, 2014.
Germany, 2014.
Starfish Hill, South Australia, 2013.
turbine collapse devon
Devon, 2014.
TurbineCollapse mill run 2014
Mill Run, Pennsylvania 2014.
Nebraska, 2014
turbine impsaCollapse
Brazil, 2014.
turbine collapse ireland
Tyrone, Ireland January 2015.
vestas v112
Sweden, December 2015.
Leisnig, Germany, January 2017.
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, January 2017.
Kilgallioch, Scotland, February 2017.
Chatham-Kent, Ontario January 2018.
Grant County, Oklahoma May 2019
Pernambuco, Brazil July 2019.


With gravity one of nature’s constants, wind farm neighbours can hardly rest assured. Expect more of the same.

Then there is the ‘minor’ issue of ‘component liberation’.

Turbine blade failures, including events where 10-15 tonne blades are thrown to the 4 winds are so common that we have considered running a separate site dedicated to their aerial escapades – here’s a few to whet your appetite for destruction (the captions are linked to the stories behind the pictures):

Sigel Township, Michigan, February 2016.
turbine blade germany
Ostsee, Germany, December 2015.
Pontecesco, Spain, January 2016.
blade fail
Fenner, New York, February 2016.
Leystad, A6 Highway, Netherlands, May 2009.
turbine blade donegal
Donegal, Ireland, December 2013.
turbine001 kerry
Kerry, Ireland, January 2015.
Ocotillo, California, May 2013.
Whitelee (near Glasgow), Scotland, March 2010.
Turbine Collapse Repower2
Menil-la-Horgne, France, December 2015.
turbine rotor germany
Hamburg, Germany, March 2016.

Now that those who are forced to travel past, live with and work near these things know how exceptional it is for 10-20 tonne blades to be thrown to the 4 winds; how unlikely it is for 60-90 tonne rotors or 80-120 tonne nacelles to drop 90-140m from the heavens; and how rare it is for an entire 200-230m high, 300 tonne turbine to plummet to Earth, we expect you feel a whole lot safer. No?

Welcome to your wind powered future!

fire 6

5 thoughts on “Turbines Tumble: Another 230 Metre, 300 Tonne Whirling Wonder Bites the Dust

  1. In Ontario, people being harmed would be grateful to see this happen to the turbines that were sited too close to their homes. If it did happen though, the toxic smoke and the possibility of fire spreading rapidly through surrounding fields is too frightening to even think about.
    The first people who would be considered suspect, if an investigation ensued, would be the innocent residents who had reported harm.

  2. It is only luck that none of these have sliced and diced human beings – yet. These machines are not indestructible or infallible, they are prone to failure at any time – certainty in the lifespan of each individual machine is not possible.
    So it is no surprise these things fail.
    Again its just luck which has not seen the death of humans and destruction of homes – but it cannot be unexpected that as more and more are being installed close to homes, in fields and along roadways that one day this will not happen – and when it does I hope the manufacturers, investors as well as those who approve their installation are held to account.
    If energy production had not ‘escaped’ from the confines of factories/plants where if accidents did happen death and damage would have been ‘contained’ and not played out on those completely separated from the production location, where employees have Unions, systems, regulations and compensation to protect and look after them – then the innocent not employed by the industry, but simply going about their daily business would be safe.
    We already know they cause catastrophic health issues and environmental damage – where are all the safeguards for those living with these things as close neighbours?

      1. Thanks STT, I keep forgetting about the Caithness site – a great resource. Though I do wonder how many people have not reported or have had their reports ‘binned’ that are adversely affected in their health, especially those who are not directly involved with this industry. We will probably never know the full extent.
        I still think the way in the industry is allowed to impact so many people around the world without anyone having legal responsibility to ensure their safety is wrong.
        Unions are meant to stand up for their workers but who stands up for those living and working within what should be called an industrial energy factory, when they believed they lived in an air open rural environment.
        Just because these things are built in the open with no obvious structural boundaries, ie walls and roofs, close to human habitat and open to all locally occurring fauna, flora and avian specie with NO one responsible for any damage inflicted stinks of ‘favoritism’ and expediency over safety due to manic fear mongering.
        In this modern error you would think no one would have allowed this to happen without thorough investigation and significant danger aversions put in place.
        The Planning Regulations no matter where/which country have obviously been socially and intellectually meaningless.
        Again thanks STT for being there for those of us so thoroughly fed up with the situation to have say.

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