Offshore wind turbine catches fire off east coast of Britain

In Europe

An aerial view shows wind turbines at RWE’s Scroby Sands Wind Farm, off the coast of Great Yarmouth, eastern England, on February 15, 2023.

Daniel Leal | Afp | Getty Images

LONDON — An offshore wind turbine in the North Sea caught fire Tuesday, with all personnel evacuated and accounted for.

The turbine is part of the Scroby Sands Offshore Wind Farm, which has a capacity of 60 megawatts.

Situated on a sandbank off the town of Great Yarmouth in England, the facility has 30 turbines and was commissioned in 2004. It is owned and operated by RWE Offshore Wind.

In a statement sent to CNBC Tuesday, a Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson said: “HM Coastguard has been monitoring a wind turbine on fire at the Scroby Sands Wind Farm today … off the coast of Great Yarmouth.”

“The alarm was raised at about 10.50am and all personnel working at the site have been evacuated by the operating company and are accounted for,” the spokesperson added.

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The turbine at Scroby Sands is no longer alight, and there was no requirement for search and rescue units to be deployed. It is not unheard of for wind turbines to catch fire, and a number of similar incidents have been reported in the past few years.

The U.K. is a major player in offshore wind, and home to a number of large-scale projects including the fully operational Hornsea 2 and the under construction Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

According to researchers at Imperial College London, wind turbines provided 32.4% of Britain’s electricity in the first three months of the year.

In a statement sent to CNBC, an RWE spokesperson said: “An incident occurred which led to a fire in the turbine nacelle (the enclosure at the top of the tower which houses the generating components) at the Scroby Sands offshore wind farm this morning, the fire is now extinguished.”

“Emergency services were contacted immediately and the Coastguard made aware. They are monitoring the area and advising on a potential 500 metre restriction zone being enforced around the [affected] … turbine.”

“All our team members are safe and accounted for with no injuries, we would ask people to keep away from the area as assessments are ongoing.”

Read More: Offshore wind turbine catches fire off east coast of Britain

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