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Windmills not for turning  

A controversial wind turbine farm, at Lowca, has ground to a halt. One turbine has not turned since January and the other six have been out of action for more than a week.

Under planning conditions the operators of the windfarm, E.on, are obliged to dismantle and remove any turbines that have not worked for six months. Neighbouring Allerdale planners will decide later this month what action to take against energy giant E.on for failing to ensure that another of its turbines at Oldside keeps on turning. E.on says all need new parts but they are unobtainable.

Spokesman James Majid said: “One turbine at Lowca has been out of action since January 2007 because of an issue with its generator.”

He said they were seeking talks with Copeland council but remained focussed on finding a solution.

He added: “Obviously we don’t want to have to take down turbines, it is just that worldwide demand for spare parts is so great.”

Tony Pomfret, Copeland development control manager, said councillors rejected the original plans for seven turbines at Lowca. But he said a government inspector over-ruled the local authority after an inquiry.

But he confirmed that the inspector’s letter of March 19, 1999 included a condition that if any turbine ceased to be operational for a continuous period of six months or more it “shall be dismantled and removed and the site restored”.

The Whitehaven News

21 November 2007

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