The Lowca wind turbine that hasn’t turned for 12 months will probably be allowed to stay.
Members at next week’s Copeland planning panel meeting are being recommended not to pursue enforcement action against site operator E-On after it breached planning approvals that require a turbine that hasn’t operated for a period of six months to be removed.
The energy company says it is seriously trying to rectify the situation and explains that the turbine had a fault in the gearbox that could not be repaired on site.
It was unable to undo the coupling holding the gearbox to remove it and it was decided in August that all three blades, gearbox and shaft would have to be removed in one piece, a major engineering task.
Since then the coupling has now been successfully separated in situ and repair work to the shaft and a new gearbox will be fitted shortly, says the company. It expects the turbine to be turning again within the next month.
Councillors will be told that the main purpose of the planning condition was to ensure turbines at the end of their working life were not left to deteriorate on site. “It is unfortunate the council was not kept informed of events,’’ says an officer.
By Margaret Crosby
31 January 2008
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