New executive order: Tightened rules to improve wind turbine safety

On 1 January 2021, a new executive order for certification and servicing of wind turbines will enter into force. The regulation will improve safety by introducing requirements for owners of smaller wind turbines to keep a service logbook and requirements for proper securing of wind turbines out of operation.

In general, however, the new executive order reenacts most of the current regulation.

Executive order no 1773 of 30 November 2020 on technical certification scheme for wind turbines (hereinafter BEK1773) is available at www.retsinformation.dk/eli/lta/2020/1773 (in Danish). For an english translation please see Executive Order on technical certification and servicing of wind turbines etc. Guidance notes will be available on this website at a later date.

New requirements regarding logbook, appropriate securing of wind turbines out of operation, and annual service inspections

The new executive order stipulates that owners of wind turbines with a rotor area of 40 m2 or below must keep a logbook of service inspections.

Further, the requirements for service on wind turbines temporarily or permanently out of operation are tightened. The new regulation requires annually service inspections and reporting, even if the turbine is stopped, that turbines must be properly secured when stopped, and safety and function tests must take place before restarting a turbine that has been out of operation for a longer period.

The service requirement is further tightened, as service must be reported annually if not stated otherwise in the service manual. Servicing must be performed according to the service manual and if the service interval is not stated in the service manual, servicing must be performed at intervals no longer than 1 year. If the service manual states that service is performed every two years, this will apply. If it appears from the service manual that service is to be performed every six months, this will apply.

Ceasing of the option to be approved for self-service

The option in the current regulation, where wind turbine owners under special circumstances and certain conditions can be approved to perform service on their wind turbine – the so-called self-service – will be phased out. From 1 January 2021, it will only be possible for owners with valid approval to apply for a renewal of their approval. No new approval will be issued and owners who do not have valid approval for self-service must therefore have service performed by an approved or certified service company.

Wind turbine owners who intend to apply for self-service according to §9, s. 3 of the former executive order no. 73 of 25 January 2013 on the technical certification scheme for wind turbines, must therefore ensure to apply before 1 January 2021.

The application will be assessed according to the rules in the old executive order no. 73 by the requirements regarding special circumstances and conditions for qualifications etc.

Owners, who already have an approval according to section §9, s. 3 and §9, s. 4, which expires within the end of this year and wishes to apply for renewal, must ensure that the Danish Energy Agency has received an application for renewal before 1 January 2021 for the application to be evaluated according to the former executive order no. 73.

Henceforward, it will only be possible to apply for renewals. Owners who are approved for self-service according to the old executive order must ensure that the approval does not expire before applying for a renewal. Approval is issued for 3 years at a time. Therefore, there must be applied for a renewal before the expiration of the approval.

New requirements regarding certification of wind turbines

Today, wind turbines are to be certified according to international technical standards at the time of installation. Correspondingly, subsequent changes to a wind turbine may elicit requirements for supplementary certification. With the new executive order, the standards for certification and the technical standards have been updated to the latest applicable international standards. In addition, the legislation on supplementary certification has been elaborated and clarified, just as the requirements for the certification of smaller turbines have been tightened to increase the safety of new wind turbines to be installed in Denmark.

The executive order is directed at manufacturers, suppliers, owners of wind turbines, and companies servicing wind turbines but also companies and accreditation bodies that certify other companies performing tasks in the field.

 

Additional reporting requirements in the event of accidents

The new executive order BEK 1773 requires owners of a wind turbine that has been damaged to report to the Danish Energy Agency when the damage has been remedied and the wind turbine is back in operation.

The draft is a fundamental revision of BEK no. 73 of 25 January 2013, (hereinafter BEK73), i.e. to adapt the rules to a modern market for wind turbines and to introduce clearer requirements regarding safety, especially regarding service on wind turbines to increase the safety level of the surrounding environment. Finally, the draft contains a large number of clarifications in relation to current regulation, just as current practice is inscribed in the draft.

 

 

Good to know

The Danish Energy Agency's webpage for certification & Servicing (CAS) is currently being updated.