Samizdat – 18.07.2022
A 220 meter high wind turbine with a span of 145 meters, part of a wind farm in Viksjö outside the city of Härnösand in Västernorrland County, has broken in half and crashed into the forest.
No one was injured and the wind farm will be closed until an accident team examines the wind farm.
According to the Nysäter Wind company, which owns the farm, no one was injured. An accident team is on its way to investigate the wind turbine, and is expected to begin its work on Monday. Until then, the farm is closed, and access to the adjacent areas is limited.
“Parts of the turbine are sticking up and leaning against each other. That is why we approach with caution and block off. We also ask ourselves the question of how this could happen. We hope that the investigation can find out,” Nysäter Wind board member and advisor Per Nordlund told national broadcaster SVT.
Nysäter Wind suspected that oil had leaked from the gearbox and urged the public to stay away from the site.
The Nysäter windfarm in Viksjö is touted as one of Sweden’s largest wind power projects. With its 114 turbines, it will be one of Europe’s largest onshore wind turbines and by far the largest investment ever in the history of Härnösand.
However, the wind farm in Viksjö previously ran into trouble during the construction stage. Journalist investigations by SVT and others indicated that subcontractors had been left unpaid for their work, which led to bankruptcy risks, and about 30 companies being owed money to the tune of at least SEK 60 million ($5.7 million).
No fewer than six reported violations of environmental regulations were reported during construction; forests with protected species were felled and waste was dumped in sensitive natural environments.
Furthermore, the massive project was stopped by the county administrative board over environmental criticism, leading to further delays in construction. Only in June 2022 was the park ready for inauguration.
The share of domestic wind power resources in Swedish national consumption has risen from 0.3 percent in 2000 to 20.3 percent in 2020.
To counter soaring electricity prices and alleviate Europe’s dependence on energy fuels, the Swedish government plans a massive expansion of offshore wind power. However, critics slammed the plans as inefficient and a way of shifting the bill to the customers themselves. Among others, energy expert Marie Knutsen-Öy called it “an indirect subsidy that creates unnecessary costs and impairs the functioning of the electricity market”.