Last week’s howling winds brought an unexpected benefit for a north east Fife property owner with the collapse of an unwanted wind turbine.
The domestic turbine, about 10 metres high, had been a landscape feature for up to 15 years on a hilltop at Bruntshiels, near Baldinnie, but came down on Wednesday, January 9.
Property owner Laetitia Bradfield said luckily the turbine fell when nobody was at the house and landed between a fence and a barn, causing no other damage.
She said she was delighted to see the end of it.
“It came with the house when we bought it a couple of years ago and apart from being extremely noisy, which was our principle objection to it, it didn’t produce much electricity,” she said.
“One of our jobs in the spring was to get it taken down and get rid of it, so last week’s wind did the job for us.”
The turbine received regular maintenance, but Mrs Bradfield said all the holding down bolts had sheared.
“According to an engineer, the fractures show clear signs of metal fatigue, so it could have come down any time.”
Mrs Bradfield and husband Ronald also have a home in Auchterarder, Perthshire and want to extend the house at Bruntshiels to accommodate them and their family.
But progress has been stalled because of the potential impact of the proposed windfarm at nearby Gathercauld.
Mrs Bradfield is a member of the Ceres and District Environment and Amenity Protection Group, which opposes Energie Kontor’s application to build five 80-metre turbines.
She said EnergieKontor announced its plans only months after her family bought Bruntshiels.
The domestic turbine had not been a factor in buying, either for or against, but the family was now glad it was gone.
“I am sure that this is an omen that our campaign against the appalling development at Gathercauld proposed by EnergieKontor will be successful,” she said.
Fife councillors have yet to consider Energie Kontor’s application.
A spokesperson for turbine manufacturer Proven Energy said the company was very concerned by the incident and was prepared to launch a full and thorough investigation into its cause.
“Safety is at the heart of our operations and has been for 25 years; our track record in this field shows that we are extremely successful in upholding our exemplary record.
“Proven Energy is determined to establish what has gone wrong in this case and will be prepared to work with Mrs Bradfield to resolve this matter and to assist her in realising any future environmental aspirations she has,” said the spokesperson.
By Janet Howie
17 January 2008
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