Canadian Consulting Engineer

Wind turbine collapse in Cape Breton being investigated

August 30, 2016   CCE

Enercon Canada is investigating what happened to cause an 80-metre high wind turbine to crumple and collapse at a wind farm near Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton. The tower buckled over during routine maintenance, bringing its 40-metre long blades down to the ground. Enercon said all the workers quickly left the site and were not hurt. So far there is no indication of the cause, but the Ministry of Labour is investigating as well as Enercon.

The E-82 tower is on the Point Tupper Wind Farm, which has 11 turbines and was built in 2010 for a reported cost of $55 million.  The farm is owned and operated by Renewable Energy Services of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association said it believes it is the first catastrophic turbine failure in Canada. However, Canadian Press reported that there have been turbine collapses in Michigan and Northern Ireland in the last two years.  There are an estimated 300,000 wind turbines installed around the world.

A CBC report of August 26 noted that while there is a rigorous environmental and community approval process for wind farms, once they are approved there is scarcely any government oversight.

To read the CBC report, click here.

To read a Canadian Press report in the Cape Breton Post, click here.


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