For the third time since December storm force winds have toppled a wind turbine being erected by Gamesa Eólica, Spain's largest turbine manufacturer. The company blames the incident on "tremendously bad luck." On March 2, average wind speeds at the Sierra Cabrera wind farm in Valencia were measured at 140 kilometres per hour (39 m/s), with gusts as strong as 180 km/h (50 m/s), according to Gamesa Eólica's Javier Perea. The winds brought down part of the rotor and generator of a 850 kW unit. The turbine was still awaiting grid connection and was not able to yaw out of the wind, says Perea. The two previous accidents happened for the same reason, according to Gamesa (Windpower Monthly, February 2001). Perea says the company is now providing on-site standby generation to all new plant going up. "Such an incident will never happen again," Perea claims. He adds that two cranes, each weighing 200 tonnes, fell on the same day in the Port of Malaga. The damaged turbine was one of six that were partially installed in Sierra Cabrera as part of an 18 MW extension to Valencia's only wind plant. The site currently has just under 3 MW on-line from four 660 kW Gamesa Eólica turbines.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol