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Fact Check-Sizzling Texas heat did not melt wind turbine

Deleted typo from the headline

A photo of a wind turbine with fallen blades is making rounds on social media, with some users claiming the turbine was “melted” by the high temperatures Texas experienced in mid-June. This is untrue: the turbine located in Matagorda County was affected by storm winds, not heat, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Houston. RWE Renawables, the company operating this wind farm, also confirmed to Reuters that a storm caused the damage.

The claim circulates as a heatwave gripped the U.S. Southwest ( here , here) which prompted power grid operators in Texas and California to urge consumers to conserve energy, as homes and businesses kept air conditioners cranked.

Examples of this posts can be seen on Facebook ( here , here , here ) and Twitter ( here , here ) . Another iteration here the turbine in Nebraska.

On June 14, the NWS in Houston stated on Twitter ( here ) the turbine, located near Wadsworth in Matagorda County, was damaged by a storm that passed that day.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, Matt Tulis, Communication Manager for RWE Renewables, said the company “did have damage to one of the turbines on our project in Matagorda County, Texas, resulting from the storm earlier this week,” he said. “The damage to the turbine was definitely NOT related to heat or high temperatures.”

Only one of the 48 turbines at the company’s Peyton Creek wind farm in Matagorda County ( here ) was affected, according to Tulis.

VERDICT

Partly false. This wind turbine was damaged by storm winds, not “melted” by hot temperatures in Texas.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work   here  .        

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