Wonthaggi Blade Incident

Statement, July 31, 2012

REpower Australia has installed a new set of blades at the Wonthaggi Wind Farm, commissioned the turbine and returned the 12MW wind farm back to full operation.

The damaged blade was caused by a manufacturing fault. A full inspection has confirmed that all blades are in good working order.

On average, the Wonthaggi Wind farm produces around 28,000 megawatt-hours of electricity each year.1 This is enough electricity to meet the household electricity needs of Wonthaggi residents more than twice over, or to power 35% of all the households in the Bass Coast Shire.2 In addition, the wind farm displaces approximately over 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, which is the equivalent of taking over 6,600 cars off the road.3

REpower Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzlon. Together, REpower and Suzlon have over 12,000 turbines in operation in 30 countries capable of producing almost 20GW of renewable energy daily. The MM 82 has an excellent performance and safety record.

Note: The wind turbine generators at the Wonthaggi Wind Farm in Gippsland Victoria are not equipped with REpower or Suzlon manufactured blades.

Wonthaggi Blade Incident Update #3 (PDF)

 

Statement March 25, 2012

REpower Australia is currently working at the Wonthaggi Wind Farm to remove the blade that was damaged on one wind turbine on Wednesday morning, March 21.

There were no injuries or property damage. A new blade will be installed and the turbine will be returned to service. The remainder of the 12MW wind farm is in operation.

At this stage of the investigation it is too early to conclude what caused the damage, but a severe lightning storm was in the vicinity at the time the event occurred. REpower engineering specialists, the local Operations Maintenance and Service team and engineers from the blade manufacturer will work jointly to determine the cause of the incident.

REpower Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzlon. Together, REpower and Suzlon have over 12,000 turbines in operation in over 20 countries capable of producing 18GW of renewable energy daily. The MM 82 has an excellent performance and safety record.

Note: As reported in The Australian Newspaper on Saturday March 24, the wind turbine generators at the Wonthaggi Wind Farm in Gippsland Victoria are not equipped with REpower or Suzlon manufactured blades.

Wonthaggi Blade Incident Update #2 (PDF)

 

Statement March 22, 2012

A blade on one wind turbine generator at the Wonthaggi Wind Farm was damaged while a severe lightning storm passed through the area yesterday morning.

The designed safety systems automatically shut down the turbine to ensure further damage was avoided. Management procedures were implemented to close off and secure the site. This includes the area in the immediate vicinity and the walking tracks that are adjacent to the wind farm as approved by Parks Victoria. No injuries or other safety incidences occurred.

Maintenance crews are currently on site inspecting the damage. Over the next week, the damaged blade will be removed and a full investigation will be undertaken to identify the exact cause of the damage. It is possible that lightning caused the damage however this is not yet confirmed.

The remainder of the wind farm is fully operational. Some routine maintenance on the site is also proceeding. The Wonthaggi Wind Farm, consisting 6 wind turbine generators, was constructed and became operational in 2005 and since then availability has been higher than the expected 97%.

Wonthaggi Blade Incident (PDF)

 

1 REpower Australia analysis

2 Assumptions:

  • Average household electricity use in Victoria = 5,700 kWh per annum (AusGrid Report - Residential electricity prices and energy bills 2011/12 – Sydney vs Melbourne, April 2012)
  • Number of households in Wonthaggi = 2,321 (2011 Census Data ) Number of households in Bass Coast Shire = 13,943 (Bass Coast Shire Population Forecasts for 2011)

3 Assumptions: