A tower of a medium-sized wind plant in Koßdorf, in the district of Mühlberg (Elbe-Elster), broke in half and the upper 40 meters including the nacelle and the 24-meter blades collapsed to the ground. About 90 tons of scrap metal was strewn on a field. The incident occurred within 48-hours of the storm "Billie" reaching its peak on Friday afternoon.
Expert Jürgen Holzmüller, was summoned from Aurich in East Friesland but he was unable to offer an explanation for the failure except to say "This does not happen every day."
His analysis was confirmed by Munich Re in Bavaria, one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world. The company offered one of the first ever insurance contracts specifically for wind turbines. "Usually failures are due to fires in the nacelle," said Munich Re spokesman Stefan Straub. He and his colleagues would know if a turbine tower was demolished entirely.
"But, it has happened before: in Hessen", corrected Markus Kellner from Regensburg already slightly annoyed because of the many callers. As managing director of Windpark GmbH Koßdorf he has the greatest interest in determining the cause of the failure. Kellner operates the wind farm on behalf of a few private citizens from the Upper Palatinate. In 1999, they invested approximately 1.4 million marks (716 000 euro) in the wind turbine D4 48/600 by the manufacturer DeWind from the Schleswig-Holstein Lübeck. DeWind has since become a subsidiary of the South Korean industrial group Daewoo five years ago. At the Liaison Office in Hamburg nobody answers the phone. "What is our recourse?" says Kellner. Now he, alone, has to determine what happened. This accident is a serious problem. After 13 years of money into the coffers: 8.6 cents per kilowatt hour is guaranteed by the grid operator, the destroyed turbine will now lose about 1,200 euros on an optimal wind day in Brandenburg.