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Windfarm Turbine Failure

The Problem

Our client, an international public company operating in the utilities sector, faced a considerable challenge. One division of the company dealt with the installation and maintenance of large-scale windfarms, where the nacelle of a wind turbine often contained hundreds of litres of gearbox oil. The company required expert guidance on the production of Oil Spill Contingency Plans (OSCPs), which are crucial in both effectively managing a spill and securing an operating licence. They also needed a secondary response strategy in the event of an incident.

The Solution

Avada stepped in to provide the client with comprehensive contingency planning support. We utilised a systematic approach to identify potential issues and determine the necessary steps to be taken in an emergency situation. Through a meticulous risk assessment process, we highlighted potential contingencies and devised strategies to prevent or manage them. Our approach helped assess oil spill risks and ensured the correct arrangements were in place to manage such spills.

Our consultancy advice was put to the test shortly afterwards when the brakes of a turbine unit at one of the client’s installations failed. This led to a gearbox overspeed and catastrophic failure of the unit, resulting in nearly 500 litres of Lower Base Oil (LBO) being discharged over a wide area.


The End Result

Thanks to the existence of the OSCP, the client was able to immediately install containment and mitigation measures. Avada then provided on-site assistance to ensure that the residual impact on soil and groundwater did not pose a risk to the environment. Our expertise and strategic planning allowed the client to effectively contain and manage the spill, minimising the environmental impact and ensuring continued safe operation of the windfarm.