30-metre blade plunges from wind-farm turbine
THE Health and Safety Authority is investigating how a blade became unattached from its turbine and fell to the ground at a Co Kerry wind farm.
The blade, measuring up to 30 metres, came apart from its parent turbine, sparking fears locally about the safety of wind farms located close to houses.
The blade appears to have been blown about 100 metres from the turbine at Tursillagh near Tralee at the weekend before hitting the ground.
It is not known how the blade came away from the turbine, but damage to its tip suggests it hit the ground with force.
Heavy machinery was used to access the area and remove the blade on Tuesday morning.
A phone number for Tursillagh Windfarm Ltd was not being answered yesterday.
Kerry County Council said because the wind farm at Tursillagh was a private development on private land, it was a matter for the developer.
However, the incident has sparked concern locally, as there is mounting resistance to the development of wind farms on the Stacks Mountains.
The Tursillagh wind turbines are among the oldest wind energy developments in Co Kerry and date back to 2000.
Not far away in Finuge, residents have been involved in an ongoing protest over a proposal by Stacks Mountain Wind Farm Ltd to construct 10 windmills on bogland at Ballyhorgan in north Kerry.
Residents are objecting to the height of the turbines, which are more than 150 metres high, the tallest constructed in the country.
Kerry County Council's Renewable Energy Strategy had earmarked the north of the county as being "open to consideration" for renewable energy, as wind speeds are considered adequate there.