Aftermath of giant wind turbine explosion filmed by drone close up
Giant wind turbines have been springing up on horizons all over North America for the past decade. They have been around much longer than this, but they are becoming more commonplace as we seek an alternative to fossil fuel and nuclear power. Still controversial, these turbines present a viable way for power to be derived from wind, a completely renewable resource with no end. Opponents to wind power are concerned over appearance, health concerns, costs, effects on land value, and the affect on humans and animals that live in close proximity. Those in favor of harnessing wind power point to the obvious problems associated with other power sources. The debate rages on and we have yet to fully investigate both sides of the argument.
Similarly, people stand divided on the aesthetics of giant wind turbines. Some see them as majestic structures that are magnificent to behold. Others see them as an eyesore among the natural features of the landscape. But regardless of one’s opinion, there is no denying that their sheer size and structure is a marvel of engineering and technology. To look up at something that towers more than 400 feet above us, creates a sense of awe and wonder. The cost to erect such a turbine is approximately four million dollars. The blades alone cost almost one million dollars and they weigh a staggering 12,000 pounds. They are made with layers of fiberglass pressed together in a long construction process that requires extreme precision. Yet, these massive blades are designed to spin and generate electricity from wind.
This giant wind turbine was erected almost three years ago between Pontypool and Bethany, two small towns in southern Ontario. They are much like many other wind turbines that have been erected, but there is one big difference here. In April of 2019, one of the blades on this one exploded, sending huge sheets and chunks of fiberglass shrapnel raining down. Other sections hung precariously, fluttering in the wind. The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined. A drone was sent up near the tower to film the blade close up, producing this video that gives us a rare and fascinating look at the damaged blade and the pieces that hang from the hub. The wind turbine has been shut down for obvious safety reasons to await repair. The cost to dismantle and replace this turbine will also be staggering.
Ironically, the drone that was filming this disaster experienced an unexplained loss of control and it came in contact with the turbine tower, resulting in it making a high speed descent to the concrete below. The drone was completely smashed in the incident, but the footage that was recorded prior to the crash was recovered.