Lives could be at risk if an Afan Valley wind farm gets the go-ahead next week, an action group battling the scheme has claimed.
Safety concerns over a proposed Glyncorrwg wind farm have been renewed after a wind turbine in Scotland bent in half in high winds.
Glyncorrwg Action Group (GAG) believes the manufacturer of the faulty turbine, Vestas, will be constructing the turbines at Corrwg Fechan.
If Eco2’s application is approved at a planning meeting on Tuesday, four 410ft turbines – amongst the tallest in Britain – will be built on farmland overlooking the village
GAG spokesman Bob Slater claims the incident in Scotland last month raises serious safety issues.
A 200ft high turbine bent in half in 50mph winds, leaving its blades on the ground.
Mr Slater also cites an example in Germany when a 10-metre fragment of rotor blade was sent spinning 200 metres through the air.
“We have been saying for some time that these turbines are dangerous and it’s a matter of great concern for people living here,” he said.
“The turbines are going to be around half a mile from people’s homes, overlooking a school, and near a site where landslides have occurred in the past.”
Last week GAG handed in 1,230-name petition of objection to the council’s planning department.
Mr Slater added: “The petition includes the signatures of around 400 visitors to Glyncorrwg Ponds, many of whom support renewable energy but object to a wind farm being built so close to the village.
“They shouldn’t just be placed anywhere, they need to take into account the feelings of local people,” he said.
GAG has received letters of support from around the world, including California and Australia.
A spokesperson for Eco2 believes the turbine fault in Scotland was an isolated incident and that residents’ fears are unfounded.
A statement released by the company said: “Eco2 is aware that a turbine failed in the north of Scotland, and that the causes of this are currently being investigated.
“We understand that the turbine – a V47 – has been operational for many years and is not a modern wind turbine, like those currently being produced.
The company could not confirm whether Vestas will be constructing the wind turbines at the Corrwg Fechan site.
A spokesman for The British Wind Energy Association said: “With over 100,000 machines installed around the world, no member of the public has ever been injured during the normal operation of a wind turbine.”
by Andrew Pugh, Port Talbot Guardian
6 December 2007
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