A wind turbine that was planned to help power the London Olympics may have to be switched off during games to stop disturbing the athletes, the organisers admitted today.
Plans for the turbine were designed to underline the organiser’s ambition to stage the greenest-ever games.
But they face embarrassment following a report in New Civil Engineer magazine which discovered that the engineers for Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are looking at a number of options for minimising distractions from the turbine, including locking them in a fixed position.
It reported that ODA’s infrastructure director Simon Wright is concerned that the turbine will cause the light to flicker and distract competitors.
An ODA spokesman today tried to play down the comments. He said the turbine would only have to be switched off during some competitions at certain times of the day.
“Discussions are continuing,” he said. “But if there were still concerns then we would investigate turning off the turbine for short periods, only during the events affected at that time. It is not at all likely that it would be turned off for lengthy periods at all.”
The ODA estimates the turbine will produce enough energy to power 1,200 homes, but it will only provide a small part of the energy needed to power the Olympic park.
Hilary White, a wind turbine engineer, said it would not take a huge amount of energy to put the breaks on the turbine, but that was not all the ODA would have to worry about.
“It’s not going to be windy at all in east London during the summer. For the long term it might be self-sufficient, but it might do nothing at all for the Olympics.”
New Civil Engineer, nceplus.co.uk
By Alexandra Topping
28 March 2007
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