Investigation launched after fire destroys 300ft wind turbine at Knabs Ridge

Knab Ridge Wind Farm - image supplied by Nick Lamming
Knab Ridge Wind Farm - image supplied by Nick Lamming

An investigation has been launched after a 300ft wind turbine caught fire at Knabs Ridge Onshore Wind Farm on Friday.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service were called to the farm off the A59 on Friday after reports a turbine had set ablaze.

Residents were asked to keep their windows and doors shut due to the fumes as firefighters tackled the turbine blaze, 90 metres off the ground.

The wind farm at Knabs Ridge, along the south side of the A59 was built in 2007 after four years of debate.

Developer Npower Renewables appealed Harrogate Borough Council's (HBC) unanimous decision to reject the plans in 2004 with a public inquiry held in August 2005.

The following month, the Government inspector overturned the council's decision and building work began on the eight 300ft-high turbines in March 2007.

A spokesperson for Innogy Renewables UK LTD said: "As a result of an incident involving one turbine at the Knabs Ridge Onshore Wind Farm in Harrogate, the fire service was called out by on-site personnel on Friday the 6th of January 2017.

"There have been no injuries as a result of the incident. An investigation has been launched to establish the cause."

The plans caused controversy with a number of action groups including Nidderdale Against Wind Turbines with the site being just 50ft outside the boundary marking an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

However, the Government inspector ruled that the wind farm was in keeping with the government’s policy on renewable energy and the effect on aviation safety would be negligible.

Following the verdict, HBC's cabinet member for Planning, Coun Richard Cooper, said that the decision flew "in the face of common sense."

At the time, NPower Renewables said that the scheme would reduce carbon emissions by about 23,000 tonnes a year and would provide enough green energy annually for 7,000 homes.