Hundreds of offshore wind turbines in the EU might be in peril. It was announced that a good number of them have a flaw that causes them to shift off of their bases after being installed. The flaw is due to the grout mixture — made of cement, sand and gravel — used to attach them to their bases in the bedrock. It seems the grouting is not holding the turbines firmly and many have shifted several centimeters after installation. The operators and makers of the turbines say it may take as much as six months and $20 million dollars to right the windfarm’s wrongs with new technology – a mighty hefty price tag for Europe’s renewable energy community.
New wind turbines are being installed daily, yet engineers and wind farm owners have stated that the faulty grout will not effect the speed at which the new turbines are erected. However, with turbines already installed engineers and scientists need to search for an answer as how to right the turbines on their bases retroactively. The discovery of the faulty grout has set off a firestorm of investigations into turbines from the UK to Sweden with everyone wondering if their turbines have moved in the same manner.
With Britain alone trying to thwart global warming by installing 32 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020 — expected to cost 150 billion dollars — the problem could potentially be a large one. However, engineers and wind farm owners are currently investigating whether the problem needs to be fixed. It seems that though the turbines are shifting after installation the movement has not effected their efficiency or function. Questions remain as to whether that is true over the long haul.