GCube Launches Report on Wind Turbine Fires

GCube Underwriting Ltd. (GCube) today launched a report on wind turbine fires. The report, Towering Inferno, analyses the root causes, impact and mitigation of wind turbine downtime events, the company explained.

Despite the increasing use of fire suppression throughout the industry, turbine fire incidents typically result in the total or near-total loss of a multi-million dollar asset. GCube estimates that a wind turbine fire and its associated downtime will cost a project owner a total of $4.5 million on average.

The industry should adopt a more rigorous approach, both to preventative maintenance procedure and the implementation of active fire protection, detection and suppression systems, according to GCube.

The Towering Inferno report was released today at the EWEA conference in Paris.

This analysis is combined with a breakdown of the internal and external root causes of a turbine fire – from lightning to human error – suggestions for best-practice deployment of both passive and active mitigation measures, and extensive interviews with claims specialist Renewable Energy Loss Adjusters (RELA) and fire suppression expert Firetrace International, GCube said.

“While the vast majority of renewable energy losses escape the attention of the international media, it seems that, every few weeks, a turbine fire makes the headlines,” said Jatin Sharma, Head of Business Development at GCube and author of Towering Inferno.

“For the owners, operators and insurers of wind farms, the thought of seeing a multi-million dollar asset go up in flames is already a sobering one. For the incident to subsequently be broadcast around the world is the stuff of nightmares.”

“Faced with this increased scrutiny, and the long-term financial impact of a total turbine loss, we need to address the causes and consequences of turbine fire and, as a community, recognise that it affects each company in the industry rather than ‘affecting our competitors’. We cannot allow a handful of torched assets to become a symbol of our inability to work together.”