Articles filed under Safety from UK

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

Alert after turbine collapses in high winds

Three Scottish windfarms were "switched off" yesterday after a massive turbine collapsed in high winds. The machine, which stands more than 200ft tall at a windfarm in Argyll, apparently "bent in half" during the storm conditions that swept Scotland on Thursday. Operator Scottish Power stopped the 26-turbine facility ahead of a probe into the cause of the collapse. The energy giant also switched off two windfarms in the south of Scotland which use the same Vestas V47 turbines.
10 Nov 2007

MoD takes wind from turbine sails

Defence chiefs have thrown the future of East Anglia's wind energy industry into confusion after claiming that wind turbines could be a threat to national security. Experts say the MoD now objects to about 50pc of applications to build onshore wind turbines because of concerns they might affect the performance of military radar. ...An MoD spokesman said that it objected to the plans because the turbines would have been in direct line of sight of the radar. ...In a letter to planners, it said that where rotating blades were visible to radar they created radar returns which could appear as a solid moving object, similar to an aircraft. "Radar operators will therefore be unable to distinguish between a genuine radar return from a moving aircraft and the rotating turbine blades," the letter stated.
8 Nov 2007

Wind turbine trailer blocks road

A major road in south west Scotland has been blocked after a lorry carrying a 106-tonne wind turbine got stuck. Dumfries and Galloway Police warned that the A75 was likely to remain shut for some time after the incident which took place shortly before 1100 GMT. The vehicle went onto a grass verge near the Kinmount straight between Dumfries and Annan and because of its weight sank into the ground. Motorists were advised to expect delays or avoid the area entirely.
7 Nov 2007

Safety probe after rig collapse

ENERGY firm E.on has promised a new risk assessment of the Robin Rigg sandbank in the Solway Firth following a construction rig collapse there 12 days ago. The promise has been made to Workington MP Tony Cunningham, who wants public reassurance that the seabed under the sandbank is stable enough to eventually support the weight of 60 420 ft turbines. All work has been halted on the site of Britain's biggest offshore wind farm, seven miles off the coast of Maryport, while an accident investigation continues into why a working platform tipped over when a jack-leg crunched through the seabed.
28 Sep 2007

The Dangers of Wind Power

After the industry's recent boom years, wind power providers and experts are now concerned. The facilities may not be as reliable and durable as producers claim. Indeed, with thousands of mishaps, breakdowns and accidents having been reported in recent years, the difficulties seem to be mounting. Gearboxes hiding inside the casings perched on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often crapping out before even five years is up. In some cases, fractures form along the rotors, or even in the foundation, after only limited operation. Short circuits or overheated propellers have been known to cause fires. All this despite manufacturers' promises that the turbines would last at least 20 years.
24 Aug 2007

Windfarm shut down pledge over radar fears

Proposed wind turbines at Gathercauld, near Ceres, would be shut down if they affected the radar at RAF Leuchars, the company behind the project said this week. EnergieKontor has written to Fife Council saying it was willing for a planning condition to that effect to be part of its five-turbine windfarm project. The letter from EnergieKontor general manager Judith Cornfield was in response to Ministry of Defence concerns the turbines would cause "unmanageable interference" to the air traffic control radar at the airbase.
10 Aug 2007

Wind farm may disrupt radar at RAF base, warns MoD

AIRCRAFT could be put at risk by a proposed new wind farm in the east of Scotland, the Ministry of Defence warned yesterday. The 85-metre turbines, due to be built at Gathercauld, near Ceres in north-east Fife, could cause severe interference to radar signals at RAF Leuchars, it said. The original plans, lodged in 2006, called for 13 wind turbines to be built on the site. A fresh application was submitted in May for a scaled-down wind farm, with five turbines.
7 Aug 2007

Still wild at heart

Campaigners against the proposed Greenock windfarm say they are hugely relieved it has been stopped. The Scottish Executive announced on Friday they were refusing Airtricity's £40 million plan to erect 22 turbines at Corlic Hill behind Strone.
6 Aug 2007

£55m wind farm plan is rejected

A proposed £55 million wind farm has been scrapped amid concerns it would impact on Glasgow Airport’s radar system. Airtricity’s plan to build near Greenock was rejected by the Scottish Executive. Officials with the firm said they were “very disappointed” by the decision.
4 Aug 2007

‘A victory for democracy’

Plans for a controversial wind farm behind Greenock have been blown away. And protesters hailed the knock-back as victory for local people. The Scottish Executive has rejected Airtricity's £40 million proposal to erect 22 turbines at Corlic Hill behind Strone. Protest group Keep Corlic Wild waged a four-year battle against the 55-megawatt project ..................
4 Aug 2007

New fears over wind turbines

VILLAGERS say they have "grave" concerns over the transport of wind turbines through their neighbourhood. Residents of Edenfield are worried that their streets will be unable to cope when the 26 wind turbines destined for Scout Moor on the Rochdale border are moved through the village. The wind turbines will be taken through Market Street, the village's main road which is lined with houses and is often double parked, and then along Rochdale Road to the site by wind farm owners, Peel Wind Power. However residents are calling for the exact information on when the movements are to begin and who will foot the bill should a misshap occur.
2 Aug 2007

Coldingham turbines may create air safety threat

Coldingham STAG (Stop the Turbines Action Group) says building a wind farm on Coldingham Moor could put lives at risk due to the threat to aviation safety. It is calling on Scottish Borders Council to reject a planning application by PM Renewables to build 22 wind turbines due to the possible radar interference and also the risk to low flying planes.
25 Jul 2007

Fresh bid to erect windfarm on hilltop

A windfarm rejected following fears it could throw aircraft off course is back on the agenda. Plans for the four 256ft turbines on agricultural land at Clochnahill, four miles south of Stonehaven, were thrown out by Kincardine and Mearns area committee in March. Proposals were rejected amid safety concerns that turbines could interfere with aircraft heading for Aberdeen Airport. But the applicant, Clochnahil-based farmer Hugh Gordon, is to challenge the decision and the case will now pass to a Scottish Executive hearing.
10 Jul 2007
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