Wind Farm Faces Shutdown as Parts Start Flying Off Turbines - Because It's Too Windy


Too much of a good thing is causing havoc at a Norwegian wind farm.

Over the past two years, at least seven objects have fallen from the wind turbines at the Ånstadblåheia wind farm near Sortland with strong winds being called the culprit, according to Life in Norway.

The 14-turbine wind farm in Sortland, part of the Vesterålen Islands off the northern coast of Norway produces between 140 and 150-gigawatt hours of electricity a year.

“In the last two years, it has not been safe to travel on the mountain. Although the facility is now being equipped for the future, and the surrounding area made safe, the reputation is damaged,” Morten Berg-Hansen, editor of a local newspaper, said.

“They have made some improvements. But we note that unwanted incidents still occur,” Anne Johanne Kråkenes, section head for the Norwegian Water and Energy Directorate, said.

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NVE officials have ordered a fix, indicating that without one, the wind farm could be shuttered.

“In Norway, there are clear regulations for how wind parks can operate,” Kråkenes said, according to Fox Business.

“This relates to several aspects, i.e., safety, environmental impact and local communities. NVE’s responsibility as a directorate is to supervise and ensure that these regulations are followed,” she said.

The government action is in response to complaints.

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“NVE has received information from Ånstadblåheia vindpark regarding falling objects. We have also received similar reports from the local community,” Kråkenes said. “Based on this, NVE has had dialogue with Ånstadblåheia vindpark.”

The company has an Oct. 12 deadline to fix the problems or case potential closure, which Kråkenes said: “will hopefully not be the outcome in this case.”

Noor Nooraddin, the general manager of the wind farm, said the weather makes it tough on the machinery.

“The weather and wind in Vesterålen is probably one of the toughest things you can subject such machinery to,” he said to Fox Business.

Berg-Hansen told NRK he thinks the severity of the weather surprised the wind farm’s operator.

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“It turned out that the covers were not made for such tough conditions as it can sometimes be at Ånstadblåheia. We who live here now have a clear expectation that they will clean up,” he said.

“We record repeated falling objects from the turbines linked to strong winds. This should not happen,” Kråkenes added.

Nooraddin said it took time to find the root of the problem and said he expects the company will be done before the government’s deadline.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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