Developer 'shares public anger' after second GE turbine blade snaps at German wind farm

A turbine blade at wind farm in Germany snapped and littered the ground with debris, prompting anger in the local community after a similar incident occurred last year.

A prototype of GE's Cypress platform wind turbine

The incident happened at Energiekontor's Alfstedt-Ebersdorf wind project in Lower Saxony during the night, between 14-15 October. 

The company said that a rotor on a wind turbine “snapped and partially broke off” during the night. 

“As a result, plastic parts and...finer fibres from the rotor blade were scattered in the immediate area,” the company said in a statement.

No-one was injured during the incident and a full investigation is now underway while operations at the wind farm have been paused, Energiekontor added.

Second incident

It is the second breakage at the Alfstedt-Ebersdorf project, where a similar incident occurred last September. Energiekontor repaired and recommissioned the broken turbine on that occassion but the cause has yet to be determined, the company said.

A spokesperson added: "At the moment, it cannot yet be determined that the two damages were generated by the same cause."

Energiekontor said that it “deeply regrets” the damage resulting from the breakage and that it “shares the disappointment and anger that arose locally” following the incident.

Cypress platform

Energiekontor confirmed to Windpower Monthly that the project uses General Electric’s 5.3-158 Cypress turbines, which were commissioned between May and July last year.

The Cypress platform has been linked with other turbine blade breakages on two separate occasions at the 175MW Björkvattnet wind farm in Sweden, among other failures at different projects.

Other breakages involving the Cypress platform include a turbine collapse at the Anykščiai wind farm in Lithuania in March last year, and a blade snapping off a Cypress turbine at the 10.6MW Epe-Füchte project in Gronau, Germany two months before that, in January 2022.

Energiekontor said it would “hold the manufacturer, GE Wind Energy GmbH, accountable” for the latest incident.

GE was contacted for comment by Windpower Monthly.