A blade fractured at a 340MW project in Iowa during a lightning storm.
The manufacturer and developer have temporarily paused and are inspecting 46 turbines “within a certain proximity to significant lightning events”, Vestas stated.
They are carrying out a root cause analysis into the incident at the Beaver Creek wind farm in Iowa, a spokesman told Windpower Monthly.
The wind farm consists of two phases – 170MW Beaver Creek (Wind XI) Beaver Creek (Wind XI) (170MW) OnshoreBoone and Greene Counties, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details and 170MW Beaver Creek II (Wind XI) Beaver Creek II (Wind XI) (170MW) OnshoreGreene County, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details – each comprising 85 of Vestas’ V110-2.0MW turbines.
“These inspections are being conducted in accordance with Vestas’ established lightning inspection protocol of turbines in the event of lightning strikes that occur within a specific set of parameters including proximity, intensity, and other environmental factors,” the spokesman added.
Earlier this year, Vestas put aside €175 million in extraordinary warranty provisions for blade repairs and upgrades related to “high-intensity lightning”.
The company stated these provisions "are not related to current or future production but cover a specific repair and upgrade of a confined, albeit considerable number of blades that are already installed".
A spokesman added that the issue relates to a “confined number of sites across specific parts of the world, experiencing high-intensity lightning”.
Following the latest incident in Iowa, a Vestas spokesman said: “Vestas has installed around 75,000 wind turbines across the globe and blade damages are in that regard rare, but like other large-scale industrial structures wind turbines do incur damage.
“The key focus for Vestas and the industry therefore is to ensure safe operations, and conduct solid processes to handle any incidents and determine what caused the damage and eventually get the affected turbine safely up and running again.”