Proven Wind Power – Blown to Bits

Wind power has taken another blow, as the P and J reports:

The owners of more than 600 small wind turbines have been told to shut them down amid fears of catastrophic mechanical failure.

Experts said last night that blades could fly off the Proven 35-2 generators, which are dotted all over the north, in the worst-case scenario.

The troubled manufacturer of the turbines has suspended all sales and warned its biggest investor – the London-based Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA) fund – that it will not be able to cope with its current losses unless it gets another cash injection.

Proven Energy revealed drive shafts in the 35-2 model had an “acute” defect and told owners that the machines – which can produce up to 12.1kilowatts and cost up to £70,000 – should be left stationary, with the “parking brake” applied. The advice to stop the turbines follows so-far unspecified problems with three machines.

The manufacturers had this statement

Proven Energy has become aware of a potential manufacturing defect in its Proven 35-2 wind turbine (The Proven 7 and Proven 11 are unaffected). We are investigating this, however, our work to date has now shown that a significant number of shafts may be affected across multiple manufacturing batches.

With that in mind we are now advising all Proven 35-2 owners to place their wind turbines on brake as soon as it is safe to do so. Under no circumstances should you apply the parking brake whilst the wind turbine is rotating at normal operating speeds since this will place extra stress on the shaft. We will ensure that you receive regular updates in the interim period.  Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

LCA have said:

Details of the company’s financial troubles emerged earlier this week when investor Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA) announced that Proven is “incurring losses that it cannot sustain without a further injection of cash.”

LCA has more than £11m invested in Proven, but said it “anticipates having to make a substantial or total write-down of its investment.”

Might be a little tricky getting a return on that investment. Never mind I’m sure there will be a subsidy along shortly.

Press and Journal – Article – Turbine firm issues safety alert over blades.