A wind turbine caught fire in southwest Taylor County in Texas. Crews worked through the night to contain the flames but it had already spread to 200 acres and was only contained by 50%. The fire appears to be caused by turbines at the Buffalo Gap wind energy facility located SSW of Mulberry Canyon. Buffalo Gap was built in three phases beginning in 2006. Phase I consists of 67 Vestas V80 turbines for a total capacity of 120.6 MW. Phases II and III include 155 GE SLE turbines and 74 Siemens turbines. The total installed capacity for the three phases is 523.2 MW. The fire is being called the Rhodes Ranch 3 fire. The Rhodes Ranch 1 fire, which happened in 2009 and burned 2000 acres, was also caused by a wind turbine. Buffalo Gap is owned and operated by AES Wind Energy.
Pictures filed under Safety from Texas
The incident involved a 1.7 MW GE turbine at the Shannon (204 MW) wind facility outside of Windthorst TX which was placed in service December 2015.
There was another fire at an operating wind plant in Texas. The turbine was part of the 174 MW Salt Fork Wind project, located in Donley and Gray Counties, east of Amarillo. The 87 Vestas V100 (2.0 MW) wind turbines was installed by EDF Renewables and placed into service in December 2016. EDF Renewables sold the facility to the Southern Company. Photos courtesy of Greg Hendricks.
Another turbine was consumed by fire. This time at the Prairie Dog Wind Project in Shallowater, Texas. Firefighters were rightfully concerned that burning pieces from the turbine would cause a brush fire.