Alinta Wind Farm in Walkaway remains shut down amid turbine collapse investigation

Jessica MoroneyMidwest Times
There are no updates on why the turbine fell.
Camera IconThere are no updates on why the turbine fell. Credit: Jessica Moroney

Operations remain on halt at the Walkaway wind farm after a turbine collapsed in unknown circumstances earlier this month, with maintenance contractors saying the investigation is ongoing.

Alinta Wind Farm comprises 54 Vestas V82 wind turbines, and the wind farm generates enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of about 64,000 homes each year.

Iberdrola Australia CEO and managing director Ross Rolfe said the incident was a major failure and the company was working with the manufacturer to understand the cause of the fallen turbine.

“The failure of turbine 43 at Alinta Wind Farm is a serious event. We are currently working closely with regulatory bodies and the operations and maintenance contractor, Vestas, to understand the factors that have contributed to the failure of the turbine,” he said.

“At the proper time, the learnings from the investigation will be shared with industry to promote safe operations across Australia’s large and growing fleet of wind farms.”

The Walkaway wind farm off Nangetty-Walkaway Road has operated since 2006, and the generation of power remains on pause since the turbine fell on Wednesday, June 8.

In a statement, Iberdrola Australia said an incident management committee had been established to manage risks and issues arising from this event, led by Mr Rolfe.

“This investigation will also consider what inspections need to be carried out on the balance of the turbines in advance of considering recommencing production at the site,” it said.

An Iberdrola spokesperson said a timeframe to restart operations had not been established, and the investigation was a main priority.

Iberdrola Australia has notified relevant regulators and WorkSafe WA has inspected the site.

A TerrSat spokesperson said when operating wind turbines, it was important to take care in windy environments.

“It could have fallen because it may not have been slowed down when it was windy, it could be anything,” he said.

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