LVEA establishes a working group on occupational safety in wind turbines


As the development of wind energy in Lithuania gathers momentum, there is a need not only to strengthen the legislative framework for renewable energy projects, but also to introduce best practices to ensure the safe operation of wind farms. In light of several incidents at wind farms in recent years, the Lithuanian Wind Energy Association (LVEA) announces the establishment of a special working group to ensure the highest safety standards in the development of wind power projects.

According to Linas Sabaliauskas, LVEA CEO, the association takes seriously the several incidents related to wind farms that have been recorded in the last year and is looking for solutions to prevent them.
“First of all, it should be stressed that in 20 years of operation in Lithuania, wind power plants have not had any incidents – until 2022.Such cases only occur during the construction or repair of power plants, which allows us to talk about the human factor and the consequences of its actions, in the processes of production, construction and maintenance of equipment. Therefore, seeing the growing need to strengthen the contracting and safety of power plants, we have decided to set up a special working group to focus on strengthening the legislative framework and introducing best practices to minimise the likelihood of incidents,” commented Mr Sabaliauskas.

He said that the need to strengthen the contracting and safety aspects of wind power plants is naturally dictated by the development of wind energy – the number of wind power plants in the country has increased 2-fold in the last five years, and the number will grow even further with the implementation of the projects currently under development.

“By increasing wind power capacity, we are moving faster towards Lithuania’s goal of energy independence. Last year alone, renewable energy sources accounted for 60% of the country’s electricity production. However, as wind farms grow, it is imperative that both developers and contracting companies keep the safety and smooth operation of power plants as a priority,” emphasises L. Sabaliauskas.

Newly built power plants are required to maintain a distance of at least one mast height from other structures. “According to Gediminas Uloza, E energija Group CEO and Chairman of the Council of the Lithuanian Wind Energy Association (LVEA), the latest incident has shown that this is a reasonable distance for safety reasons.

“Safety is the cornerstone we need to ensure in wind energy projects. In the working group we are setting up, we plan to draw up recommendations for Lithuanian developers and contractors, based on best practices abroad, to improve the quality of safety in all wind energy projects being developed in the country. If necessary, we will also initiate recommendations for lawmakers, because as wind energy volumes grow, new trends and requirements should be taken into account, both for the construction of power plants and for the contractors who carry out their maintenance,” says Mr Uloza.