Huge plume of smoke engulfs sky after wind farm catches fire off UK coast

Huge plume of smoke engulfs sky after wind farm catches fire off UK coast

Scroby Sands is capable of powering over 48,000 households.

Sam Montgomery

By Sam Montgomery

Published: 15/08/2023

- 17:14

Scroby Sands wind turbine billowed smoke off the Norfolk coast

A turbine in the Scroby Sands wind farm caught fire off the Norfolk coastline on Tuesday, filling the sky with black smoke visible from the shoreline.

The fire was reported to HM Coastguard at around 10.50am and emergency services were swiftly dispatched to the wind farm, located 1.5 miles (2.4km) off the coast of Great Yarmouth.

RWE, the German company that operates the wind farm, confirmed that no workers were on board the turbine when the fire broke out.

A spokesman for the Coastguard, said: "HM Coastguard is monitoring a wind turbine on fire at the Scroby Sands Wind Farm this morning, off the coast of Great Yarmouth.

Scroby Sands is located 1.5 miles (2.4km) off the coast of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.


"The alarm was raised at about 10.50am and all personnel working at the site have been evacuated by the operating company and are accounted for."

Flames were seen coming from one of the wind farm’s 30 Vestas 2MW turbines at 11.25am, but had mostly been extinguished by midday.

A spokeswoman for RWE Offshore Wind, who operate the turbines, said: "RWE is aware that a turbine in the Scroby Sands offshore wind farm is on fire.

"Emergency services were contacted immediately and the Coastguard is aware.

Scroby Sands was commissioned in 2004.


"All our team members are accounted for and the public are requested to stay clear."

Commissioned in 2004, Scroby Sands is one of the UK’s oldest commercial wind farms.

The wind farm has an installed capacity of 60 megawatts and is capable of powering over 48,000 households.

Last year, RWE announced that it was developing an amphibious vessel that would enable crews to reach offshore wind farms in shallow waters quicker, such as Scroby Sands.


Designs for the vessel feature two heels at the front and one at the back, with capacity for ten experts and two crew members.

In January, RWE signed a green energy partnership with the Norwegian energy company Equinor to build hydrogen-ready power plants in Germany.

Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway’s prime minister, said at the time: “The energy crisis has highlighted Norway’s importance as a reliable supplier of gas to Europe but it has also underscored the need to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.”

Norway has displaced Russia as the EU’s biggest gas supplier since the invasion of Ukraine last year.

The Scandinavian country is presenting itself as the democratic alternative to Russia and the Middle East for petroleum supply.

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