Wind farm campaigner attacks ‘dead end technology’ as broken turbines stand idle

A CAMPAIGNER attacked the “dead end technology” behind Fenland’s wind farms after he discovered that two of the �2 million turbines at Coldham are currently standing idle.

John Stoneman, from Cambs Environmental and Wildlife Protection, first warned the operators of the Co-operative site that one of their turbines was broken in October. Another turbine has also been out of action for a fortnight. Both are yet to be fixed.

Mr Stoneman, who has campaigned against wind farms for more than 10 years, has branded the delay in fixing the broken turbines “a tremendous betrayal of public support.

“These are �2 million machines that have been subsidised by the consumer,” he said. “While they aren’t running it is a complete waste.

“Now that we have got them here they should be doing their level best to squeeze all the energy out of them that they possibly can.”

Mr Stoneman received replies from the Co-operative and Scottish Power saying that they had been experiencing problems with the turbine.

One email, sent by Derek Christie of Scottish Power on October 27, said: “I can assure you that Scottish Power Renewables and the turbine manufacturer are working on repairing the turbine and hope to have it fully operational very shortly.”

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Another response sent on December 17 by Rob Ellis, from the Co-operative, said: “Having discussed the matter with Scottish Power, I understand that the turbine has been undergoing electrical repairs but should be up and running again soon.”

A 10-day public inquiry to consider whether Fenland will add to its growing tally of turbines is set for the start of February. There are currently 35 in the area and seven more have already been approved for the Coldham site.

“Fenland has become a hotspot,” said Mr Stoneman. “They have opened up an industrial Pandora’s Box and they don’t know how to shut it. They are decimating the British countryside.

“The Coldham wind farm will soon have another seven turbines, which to my mind is very concerning when it appears this site cannot manage efficiently or maintain the number of turbines that it has at present.

“If this turbine failure were to manifest itself in similar models you could end up with a �22 million site that’s actually producing nothing. It does not justify what has been done to our environment.

“We are being duped by these things that are based on 30-year-old dead end technology.”

A spokesman for Scottish Power Renewables said: “Work on repairing the turbines at Coldham is ongoing and we hope to be completing them shortly. One of the turbines is offline with a minor fault and scheduled to be returned to service this week.

“A specific, complex issue has caused the other long-term turbine fault and detailed investigations are continuing with the aim of returning it to service relatively soon.

“Windfarm developers do receive incentives to build windfarms in the form of Renewable Obligation Certificates, but these are only paid when the turbines are operational and generating.”