GAU-BICKELHEIM - A spectacular accident on Monday morning: In a field between Gau-Bickelheim and Wallertheim near the A61 motorway, the almost 55-meter-long and ten-ton rotor blade of a wind turbine was broken off shortly before 8 o'clock and crashed onto an adjacent field. Persons were not injured in the incident, fire department and police secured the accident site.
It is still unclear what caused the incident at the Juwi wind facility that was placed in service in 2012. The company based in Wörrstadt hired an expert and informed the district administration of the approval authority. The other wind turbines in the Gau-Bickelheim wind park were shut down by Juwi for safety's sake. They will be checked in the coming days and only go back into operation provided there is no additional risk. No estimates are available as to the cost of the damage.
The damaged wind turbine is one of a total of eight that are operating in the Gau-Bickelheimer district. Overall, the "Wind Park Gau-Bickelheim" has 16 wind turbines, the rest are in the districts of Wallertheim, Flonheim, Eckelsheim and Gumbsheim. All are Kenersys K110 turbines built between 2012 and 2013. Each turbine is capable of producing up to 2.4 megawatts. The turbines have a hub height is 145 meters and rotor diameter 109 meters.
The "Juwi Operations & Maintenance GmbH" has taken over the management of all 16 turbine that are owned by various owners. For the technical service, including the repair in case of damage, Juwi has commissioned other companies.
TÜV Association describes wind turbines as "ticking time bombs"
So far, wind power plants in Germany are considered by experts to be particularly safe structures. Measured by the total number of installations, around 30,000 turbines, the number of accidents is in the very low percentage range. Nevertheless, there have always been accidents on wind turbines in the past. In March, two rotor blades were torn apart by a storm at a plant in Borchen (Paderborn, North Rhine-Westphalia), at the beginning of 2017 a wind turbines was toppled almost 100 meters south of Hamburg. It was the third incident of its kind in a few weeks.
This year, the TÜV Association described wind turbines as "ticking time bombs" and warned of an increasing risk of serious accidents in the coming years, currently there are about 50 serious damages per year to wind turbines. The association therefore demanded that wind turbines - like gas stations and elevators - be included in the Industrial Safety Ordinance and that they should be tested at least every two years. The German Wind Energy Association criticized the TÜV statements and challenged the published figures.
Translation to English using Google Translate