It has today been confirmed by an interim report from Enercon, whom manufacturer the wind turbine thought to have been damaged by a UFO, that in fact the cause of the incident is somewhat more mundane.
Enercon have stated in their initial report that they have observed ‘classic signs of fatigue failure’ in a ring of around 30 bolts which secure the blades to the main hub. They further confirm that the bolts themselves have not shown any signs of degradation however, the materials around the bolts show signs of failure.
Enercon are continuing to work on the damaged parts and expect to release a full report within the next couple of weeks. Given the rarity of this event and the nature of a wind turbine blade being detached from the main hub causes some concerns for the many thousands of wind farms across the country however, Dale Vince, managing director of the wind farm operator Ecotricity commented that, ‘manufacturers had checked 1,000 turbines of the same design all over the world and it was thought the problem was a “one-off”.