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The Heat Did Not Melt a Texas Wind Turbine

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
22nd June 2021
The Heat Did Not Melt a Texas Wind Turbine
It was strong winds that bent the blades (Screenshot).

The Claim

The excessive heat in Texas has caused the blades of a wind turbine to melt.

Emerging story

In recent days, a number of social media users have been claiming that the heatwave currently hitting parts of the U.S. has been so severe that it caused a wind turbine to melt in Texas. These users have used a photograph of what appears to be a melted wind turbine as evidence. Some users have even attempted to politicize the image, claiming that wind turbines that come from places such as China or California are manufactured sloppily, and cannot cope with the Texas heat.

A supporting image within the article body

Some of the posts have gained hundreds of interactions. 

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

It is incorrect to state that heat caused the blades of the wind turbine to melt. As a local weather news outlet, FOX 4 Weather, highlighted, the actual cause of the damage to the blades was the wind. The source claims that the wind in the region of Matagorda County was intensified due to a thunderstorm that occurred during the heatwave. 

The claim that wind instead of heat caused the damage in the image has also been repeated by the official Twitter account for the National Weather Service in Houston, which states that the storm winds hit the turbine at 3:40 pm local time on June 14th. 

The image is an optical illusion. The blades are bent in such a fashion that gives the impression of melting. 

Additionally, it is false to claim that the wind turbines come from California or China. The wind farm in Matagorda County is owned and managed by RWE Renewables. RWE Renewables is a German company and states that its Matagorda County wind farm uses Nordex 3.15 MW wind turbines. The Nordex Group has production facilities in Germany, Spain, Brazil, the U.S., and India. However, none of its U.S. locations are based in California. 

While the claim that the heatwave melted the blades of the wind turbine is false, the heat has affected the Texas power grid. In fact, to preserve the system, energy companies that have customers that are enrolled in an energy efficiency program via smart thermostats have automatically turned home heating systems to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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