Library from Ireland
The recommendation for Northern Ireland to revamp its whole approach to wind farms is “long overdue”, according to campaigners. They were reacting to a major report by Stormont’s environment committee this week, which called for a tightening up of planning rules around such developments.
Screggagh Windfarm confirmed yesterday that the fault was "concerning the wind turbine blade control system" of all those of a "similar generation". Campaigners had warned of "ticking time bombs" as dozens of 200ft wind turbines identical to the stricken model remained in operation across Ireland.
It was understood that at the time of the collapse the rotor blades spun out of control despite normal weather conditions with “medium” wind speeds measuring about 10 or 12 metres per second. Some witnesses described the crash as an explosion that could be heard up to seven miles away,
They experience the flicker in the whole house, said Byrne, who lives there with his wife and children. “Even if you’re in a room with closed blinds. The whole house flickers black. It’s every two seconds for about 20 minutes.”
While the crashing to earth of turbines might have damaged wind energy’s image, opposition is much more deep-seated and points to environmental, societal and health impacts and questions the economic benefits, writes Noel Baker.
Local resident and spokesman for the Barna Wind Action Group, Michael O’Donovan, from Moneygoff East, said residents have wide-ranging concerns about the the project, on which a decision is expected to be made by the planning authorities early next month.
Cllr Pat Nugent told a meeting of Lismore-Dungarvan Municipal District Council that householders, some 1.2km from the site, had recorded noise levels above 75 decibels, almost twice those permitted under planning regulations.
The HSA informed The Kerryman this week that it is engaged in 'ongoing' talks with the company behind the crippled turbine, but as of yet has not been able to definitively establish what caused the blade to come off the hub.
The Health and Safety Authority is investigating how a blade became unattached from its turbine and fell to the ground at a Co Kerry wind farm.
The wind farm is made up of 23 turbines built by Danish manufacturer Vestas and operated by Saorgus Energy. The V47 model of turbine stands at over 40 metres in height and has a rotary diameter of 47 metres.
An 80-metre wind turbine has collapsed on a mountainside near Fintona in County Tyrone. It was one of eight 2.5 megawatt turbines on the Screggagh wind farm on Murley mountain. The turbine, valued at over £500,000, collapsed on Friday evening, scattering debris over a wide area hundreds of meters away.
Wrecked: A Nordex N80 2500kw wind turbine lies in a mangled heap after it was blown over at the Screggah windfarm in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The wind facility consists of eight 2.5 MW turbines and was placed into service in March, 2011. For more pictures visit this site. Prior to the collapse, thunder-like noise coming from the turbine could be heard 7 miles away across the valley. Turbine debris was scattered hundreds of meters away from the turbine's foundation according to a BBC video news report.
One of the turbines at a windfarm in Northern Ireland collapsed - but the reason why is not yet known
Mr Justice Peart, while rejecting the residents’ argument that the environmental assessment for the turbines was flawed, said he was satisfied the grid connection was an integral and fundamental to the overall project. Without it, the turbine development would serve no function, he said.
Northern Ireland’s first offshore wind farm has become the latest renewable project to be scrapped following a change in the UK subsidy scheme. Under the original plans, the £1bn project off the east coast of the province would have supplied almost 20 per cent of its electricity requirements.
An engineer has alleged a “fundamentally unfair” planning procedure has been adopted for a proposed wind farm development in Co Meath which he fears will adversely impact on the environment and health and development of his autistic son.
The Dublin-based renewable energy-focused utility has shifted its focus to Europe and intends to invest approximately €50m in 150 megawatts worth of construction-ready windfarm projects across Ireland, Scandinavia, and Britain over the next 12 months. While this plan was criticised by shareholders at the group’s AGM in September, so too was the retaining of remaining US assets.
The UK wind debate assumes that wind farms operate at roughly their average output most of the time. According to this new paper by Dr. Capell Aris’, this assumption is not true. Power comes only extremely intermittently and variably and there are long periods of negligible efficiency, particularly during the long winter months when power is most needed. A 10GW wind fleet would need approximately 9.5GW of fossil capacity to guarantee its output. A summary from the report of Dr. Aris' findings is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
A High Court judge has imposed a 3mph speed limit on vehicles operating on a mountain windfarm project in a bid to stop sheep being scared. Mr Justice Deeny also ruled that a renewable energy firm should only drill bore holes at Ballymongan Hill in Co Tyrone when flocks had been taken off for winter.
McCarthy and other critics of wind energy policy, such as the Irish Academy of Engineering, say that other costs will also be incurred with further deployment of wind, through extra transmission infrastructure needed to cope. The academy has called on the Government to “rebalance” policy away from renewables towards gas-fired plants. It says emissions targets can be met through conservation and other policies.