In mid-June 2021, Snopes readers inquired about memes posted to social media that purportedly showed a wind turbine that had melted in scorching Texas heat (some versions sent in by readers claimed the turbine was melted in Nebraska).
It’s true that states in the Southwest, including Texas, were experiencing a heat wave in summer 2021. It’s also true that the turbine in the image above is located in Texas. But the turbine was not melted by the heat wave.
National Weather Service Houston tweeted an image of the turbine in question on June 14, 2021. The turbine, located in Wadsworth, a community southwest of Houston, was damaged by powerful winds during a storm in the area.
The power of wind. (Damage to a wind turbine near Wadsworth in Matagorda County from a storm that passed through around 340pm). pic.twitter.com/osGB1sAocw
— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) June 15, 2021
Claims about turbines failing during extreme weather events in Texas have been a topic of interest in the past. In February 2021, conservative commentators and legislators falsely claimed that frozen turbines played a major role in the loss of power to millions of Texans as they experienced record cold temperatures.
As we reported at that time, half of Texas’ wind turbines went offline during the cold snap, but only accounted for a small fraction of the power outage, which was mostly caused by failure of systems producing power from natural gas, coal, and nuclear sources.