BY HARRY WALSH
THE huge wind turbine which came crashing down during heavy winds near Ardara eight weeks ago has been taken away to be broken down and scrapped.
Two cranes and a number of lorries spent Wednesday and Thursday of last week on the windfarm at Loughderryduff, near Mass, Portnoo as the 245-foot high turbine was broken down before being transported to Derry.
A spokesman for the developers, North West Wind Ltd, confirmed that the fallen turbine had been removed and all debris had also been cleared.
“The whole site has been cleared. Everything is gone and the landscape has been restored.
“Workers spent most of Wednesday and Thursday on site cutting the turbine into smaller more manageable units which were then lifted by crane onto the back of lorries and taken to Derry to the scrapped and recycled,” Mr John Gilllespie said.
He also confirmed that a technical examination was ongoing and that they were awaiting the outcome of a “technical evaluation” of the scene.
“A preliminary investigation was carried out at the time while further investigations took place at its removal and will form part of the total investigation,” Mr Gillespie said.
The turbine, which has a lifespan of around 25 years, fell just four years after being erected in the eight-unit development.
The turbines at the wind farm have a ‘hub height’ of 49 metres (160 ft) and the 26 m (85 ft) radius of rotor, bringing their total height to 245 foot.
In 2009, the same company was granted planning permission for a further 11 turbines at the site.
These turbines, when erected, will be even bigger that the current ones with a hub height of 55 metres (180 ft).
The additional 26 m (85 foot) radius of rotors will bring the total height to 265 ft.
A spokesman for the Danish manufacturers of the giant wind turbine described such incidents as “very rare.”
Mr Matt Whitby said that Vestas has installed over 47,000 turbines around the world.
The Loughros More Bay SAC Conservation Group has contacted local Councillors and TDs about the proposed development.