Library filed under Safety from UK

Airport set for battle of skies over turbines

Yesterday airport head of planning and corporate affairs Graeme Mason said he would be asking Ministers to ‘call in' the application and hold a public inquiry because of the unresolved safety concerns. Site owner Hainsford Energy wants to replace the existing nine turbines at Blyth Harbour with the seven much bigger and more powerful machines to create a facility capable of powering 11,600 homes. Approval was granted by Wansbeck's regulatory committee on Tuesday night, despite a last-minute plea by Newcastle Airport that it would be ‘quite wrong' to give the scheme the green light. The new turbines will be built along Blyth's East Pier and at Battleship Wharf near Cambois. Yesterday Mr Mason said: "I have already been in contact with Government Office for the North-East to formally request that the application is called in by the Secretary of State. It is looking increasingly likely that we will be arguing this issue at a public inquiry.
10 Jan 2008

New windfarms a question of balance

Wind farms are set to play a big part in national and regional targets for renewable energy production and last year Cumbria's councils produced the 62 page Cumbria Wind Energy Supplementary Planning Document. ...Meanwhile we urge planners seeking the best places to site wind farms in Cumbria to do plenty of background research. ...Such data should be evaluated as Cumbria performs the tricky balancing act of meeting renewable energy targets, safeguarding lives and health, and preserving our uniquely beautiful countryside.
4 Jan 2008

Crane moves in to mend turbine

A giant crane has moved next to Lowestoft's seafront wind turbine to carry out the delicate task of removing a damaged blade. A lightning strike during a thunderstorm on June 8 damaged the tip of a blade on the 120m landmark known as Gulliver. Although engineers had the blades spinning again the same day a subsequent maintenance inspection revealed there was a problem. For the past eight weeks Gulliver has been out of action awaiting the arrival of a crane big enough to be used to remove the damaged blade.
20 Dec 2007

Threat to national security at Swaffham?

NATIONAL security could be compromised by more wind turbines in the Swaffham area, but councillors have been recommended to grant permission. The Ministry of Defence warns the six new giant turbines would have "an unacceptable impact upon the air traffic control radar at RAF Marham and Lakenheath and also against the air defence radar at Trimingham". But Breckland councillors could give the go-ahead on Monday for the turbines to be built on an open farmland site between the A1065 Castleacre Road and Sporle Road in Swaffham and Sporle.
14 Dec 2007

Hemsby wind turbines setback

A contentious plan to build four towering wind turbines by a Norfolk coastal village has gone back to the drawing board to address strong fears over the impact of the structures on the countryside. SLP Energy has withdrawn its application to build the 125m high turbines at Hemsby, near Yarmouth, because it says it needs more time to revise its scheme to overcome a swathe of objections from residents, councils, the Ministry of Defence(MOD) and countryside groups. Concerns were raised that the turbines would loom over the village's skyline and blight its appearance and be detrimental to a nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest. Objections were also submitted by the MOD, which said the turbines would interfere with radar at RAF Trimingham and residents said they were worried the proposed site would hamper television signals.
13 Dec 2007

Turbine plans recommended for approval

Controversial plans for wind turbines in Swaffham and Sporle are being recommended for approval despite strong objections from the Ministry of Defence. Breckland planning officers have backed Next Generation's application to build six turbines on land off Sporle Road, even though the MoD has argued the development could cause a national security risk. The MoD fears the turbines would affect the air defence radar at Trimingham, and the air traffic control radars at RAF Marham and RAF Lakenheath.
10 Dec 2007

Defence officials block wind farms

The Ministry of Defence have been accused of shooting down Gordon Brown's plans for tackling global warming by opposing wind farms across Britain. ...A Commons written answer by the Defence minister Derek Twigg has revealed that the MoD has opposed 28 planning applications for wind farms between 2005 and 2007. Harry Cohen, the Labour MP, who obtained the answer, said: "It just shows that one hand of the government doesn't know what the other is doing."
8 Dec 2007

Wind turbine safety fear

If Eco2’s application is approved at a planning meeting on Tuesday, four 410ft turbines – amongst the tallest in Britain – will be built on farmland overlooking the village GAG spokesman Bob Slater claims the incident in Scotland last month raises serious safety issues. A 200ft high turbine bent in half in 50mph winds, leaving its blades on the ground. Mr Slater also cites an example in Germany when a 10-metre fragment of rotor blade was sent spinning 200 metres through the air.
6 Dec 2007

Wind farm inquiry: closing arguments

"The Ministry of Defence expresses its strongest possible opposition to this proposal. "The one and only basis of its opposition is that this proposal will have a serious adverse effect on the operation and effectiveness of the Air Defence Radar System of the United Kingdom through its effect upon the radar at Brizlee Wood." The Ministry of Defence also submitted a condition to the inquiry, that, should the wind farm proposal be approved by inspector Alan Novitzky, the ultimate decision on the erection of the wind farm should lie with the Air Officer of Battleship movement, who is described as the "person best capable of making the judgement as to the effect upon the efficacy on the air defence system caused by the proposed development".
29 Nov 2007

Investigation of Vestas V47 turbine turned over in Scotland

...a Vestas V47 turbine, commissioned in November 2001, turned over at Scottish Power's Beinn an Tuirc ...the investigation process is ongoing and until the root cause of the incident is firmly established, the HSE has suggested that some precautionary measures are implemented on Vestas' V47 and V52 turbines, e.g. turbine max. speed pause to be adjusted from 25 m/s to 15 m/s and auto reset parameters reduced from max ten to max five.
22 Nov 2007

RAF experts object to Middlemoor wind farm plan

RAF defence experts have made strong objections to a proposed 18 turbine wind farm at Middlemoor, near North Charlton, as a public inquiry continued this week. The Ministry of Defence is concerned the 125 metre high turbines would be in direct line of sight with and create unacceptable interference with the air defence radar at Brizlee Wood, near Alnwick. Squadron Leader Chris Breedon, one of the country's leading air defence experts speaking on behalf of the MoD, raised serious concerns about the possible effects of the turbines on national security.
22 Nov 2007

Gulliver shut down for safety precaution

A lightning strike on the Lowestoft wind turbine has resulted in it being out of action for the past four weeks, it emerged yesterday. Although it suffered damage in a storm during the summer it has now been discovered that it has suffered minor damage to one of the tips and has been shut down for safety reasons. The giant 120-metre landmark, known as Gulliver, was hit during the thunderstorm on June 8.
21 Nov 2007

Security at risk from turbines

NATIONAL security would be compromised if a wind farm was built on a Northumberland moor, a public inquiry was told yesterday. Ministry of Defence experts objecting to proposals to erect 18 turbines at Middlemoor, at South Charlton near Alnwick, said the 125 metre high structures would be in the direct line of sight of RAF Boulmer's Brizlee Wood air defence radar. The fifth day of the hearing was told that as a result the structures would interfere with the radar's ability to detect enemy aircraft. Squadron Leader Chris Breedon, an MoD expert on defence radars, told the inquiry at Alnwick's Northumberland Hall: "I believe that the proposed wind farm at Middlemoor will have a significant adverse impact on the efficacy of the radar at Brizlee Wood.
21 Nov 2007

Roads to close for wind turbines

The large parts are being brought to the site of the new windfarm on Scout Moor, near Edenfield, Lancashire. Several roads will close for up to 30 minutes between 1000 and 1400 GMT every Monday to Saturday for six months. ...Local people had objected to the windfarm, fearing problems with increased traffic, damage to an untouched landscape and the noise of the turbines as their blades turn in the wind. A statement from Peel Holdings, who is behind the site, said: "This route was considered during the public inquiry and deemed to be appropriate by the Planning Inspector, and subsequently approved by the Secretary of State.
19 Nov 2007

National security 'under threat'

A WIND farm planned for moors near Alnwick could jeopardise national security, according to Ministry of Defence counter-terrorism experts. Wing Commander Rayna Owens, whose duties include protecting the UK against airborne attacks, will present her evidence at the Middlemoor public inquiry, now being held at the Northumberland Hall, Alnwick. She will be accompanied by Squadron Leader Chris Breedon, one of a handful of experts in air defence, who will state the MoD's objections to the plan. ...In statements already submitted to the inquiry, Sqn Ldr Breedon states: "The 18 wind turbines would be in direct line of sight of the radar at RRH Brizlee Wood, an important element of the UK Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS).
17 Nov 2007

Bent double: Investigation begins to find out why turbine failed at Beinn an Tuirc

A 63-metre tall wind turbine bent in two at Beinn an Tuirc Windfarm last Thursday. In what has been described as ‘a catastrophic failure’ of the turbine, the tower section has folded in the middle smashing the blades and nacelle into the hillside. It is thought by those in the industry that this is the first time a turbine tower has ever collapsed in the UK and Vestas Celtic, which manufactures towers at its nearby Kintyre factory and Scottish Power owners of the farm have launched an inquiry to find out what went wrong with the Vestas V47 turbine.
16 Nov 2007

Wind farm proposal rebuffed

A popular skydiving site has been saved from the threat of closure after planners unanimously voted against a bid to build a wind farm. Peterlee Parachute Centre, at Shotton Airfield, feared it would have to put a stop to jumps if the go-head was given to install two 111metre-high turbines at Edder Acres Farm. ...All nine of the members on District of Easington Council's development control committee agreed with officer recommendations the application from A7 Energy should be refused because of the impact it would have on the centre.
16 Nov 2007

Parachuters oppose wind turbines

A County Durham parachute centre claims it could close if a third attempt to build wind turbines nearby is approved. The 100-metre high structures would be situated at Edder Acres in Shotten Colliery just over a mile from the Peterlee Parachute Centre drop zone. The centre claims parachuters would be at risk from the turbines' blades. Easington Council will consider the proposals on Thursday. Turbine operator A7 Energy said there was a one in 25m of skydivers hitting blades.
15 Nov 2007

Collapse won't close isles wind farm

A SHETLAND wind farm will carry on operating despite the collapse of a turbine identical to the ones they are using. A 200 foot high Vestas V47 turbine was bent in half during storms at Scottish Power's 26 megawatt wind farm, at Beinn an Tuirc, in Argyll and Bute, last week. This site and two others owned by Scottish Power, in the Borders and Ayrshire, had their turbines shut down as a precaution until the cause of the problem is investigated fully by engineers. ..."The safest thing we can do unless otherwise advised by Vestas is to let these things work the way they are supposed to work. "Until we know what caused that turbine to fall over it would be almost dangerous to speculate."
12 Nov 2007

Three wind farms shut after collapse

Engineers were working over the weekend to investigate the collapse of a wind turbine which led to three Scottish wind farms being shut. The 200ft turbine at the Beinn an Tuirc wind farm in Argyll and Bute "bent in half" during heavy winds last week. ScottishPower, which owns the 26-turbine facility, has closed it while representatives of the company that manufacture Vestas V47 machines investigate the fault. Dunlaw wind farm, a 26-turbine base near Lauder in the Borders, and the 20-turbine Hare Hill facility, close to New Cumnock, Ayrshire, were also shut down as a precautionary measure.
12 Nov 2007
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