FACT CHECK: Did The Heat Melt This Wind Turbine In Texas?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 700 times allegedly shows a Texas wind turbine that partially melted because of the heat.

Verdict: False

The National Weather Service in Houston attributed the wind turbine’s damage to a recent storm in a tweet. A spokesperson for the company that operates the wind turbine said it was not damaged by heat or high temperatures.

Fact Check:

The viral image shows a wind turbine with its blades seemingly bent straight down. At the time of the June 14 Facebook post, Texas and many western states were experiencing a heat wave that had temperatures hitting triple digits, according to USA Today.

“This Texas heat is getting ridiculous!” reads the post’s caption. “Melting our damn wind turbines.” (RELATED: Does This Photo Show A Helicopter Spraying De-Icer Made From Fossil Fuels On A Texas Wind Turbine In 2021?)

A reverse image search traced the photo back to a June 14 tweet from the verified Twitter account of the National Weather Service in Houston. In the tweet, the National Weather Service attributed the damage to a storm, not high temperatures.

“The power of wind. (Damage to a wind turbine near Wadsworth in Matagorda County from a storm that passed through around 340pm),” reads the tweet.

RWE Renewables operates 48 wind turbines in Matagorda County, Texas, according to the Victoria Advocate and a press release on the company’s website. The damaged wind turbine in the viral photo appears to belong to RWE Renewables.

When reached for comment, RWE Renewables communication manager Matt Tulis confirmed the company “did have damage to one of the turbines on our project in Matagorda County, Texas, potentially resulting from a storm last week.”

“Our onsite team is evaluating the cause and extent of the damage to the one turbine affected,” Tulis said in an email to Check Your Fact. “The damage to the turbine was definitely NOT related to heat or high temperatures. We haven’t received any reports of injuries to any of our team or damage to any of the surrounding property and it looks like the damage is confined to the one turbine only.”

Check Your Fact didn’t find any Texas media outlets reporting on high temperatures melting the blades of a wind turbine.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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