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Turbines 'political stunt'  

The State Government’s five mini wind turbines were put on city roofs as a political exercise and will not work effectively, a key association says.

Alternative Technology Association SA branch president Alan Strickland the says.has offered to put the Government in touch with experts who are prepared to assist with proper placement of the turbines.

“I believe this has been a political exercise that wasn’t properly thought out,” he said.

A Premier and Cabinet Department spokesman said the turbines were part of a strategy to “position the state as pre-eminent in the field of solar and wind technology”. He said the 12-month study was about gathering information on the effectiveness of turbines.

“The testing was assisted best by placing the turbines in a variety of locations, not necessarily placing them all in the most prospective locations for energy generation,” the spokesman said.

Each turbine is supposed to produce 1.5kW – or between a third to a half of a household’s electricity requirements – under the right conditions.

The Government proposes to use “recently designed software” to assess specific sites in built up areas if more turbines are introduced, as originally planned.

“This software is able to predict wind sheer and impact from various forms of interference in a built up environment,” the spokesman said. Mr Strickland said this was “policy on the run” and urged the Government to be clear about its objectives.

“Perhaps some should be on the coast if you really want to compare different locations around the city,” he said.

These issues were raised at a recent meeting of the association’s SA branch.

The guest speaker was Beatrix Smith, director of the Capital City Committee, which was set up to “build co-operation between the State Government and the Adelaide City Council”.

She was caught off guard by questions about motives, planning, measurements and data monitoring associated with the turbines.

By Clare Peddie
Science Reporter

www.news.com.au

1 November 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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