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Connection issues keep turbines still  

Credit:  Leicester Mercury, www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk 21 July 2011 ~~

Problems connecting the county’s first commercial wind farm to the national grid have delayed the start of electricity production.

Four giant turbines were erected near Lutterworth in March and were due to begin producing electricity in June.

But the giant blades on the 410ft structures have remained stationary.

Broadview Energy has admitted electricity will not be generated until the middle of next month at the earliest.

Lisa Ross, of Broadview Energy, said: “There have been connection issues with the national grid company which have delayed matters slightly.”

She would not go into details, but was confident that the farm, which is expected to provide enough power for 4,000 homes, would go on line by mid-August.

The wind farm, which is on land between Gilmorton, Ashby Magna and Dunton Bassett, has to be connected via underground cables to the grid, on the west side of the M1 motorway.

A spokesman for Natural Power, which is overseeing the connection work, said: “There are often issues which need to be resolved with third parties when connecting to the grid across land owned by other people. We are confident the problems will be resolved in due course.”

However, anti-wind farm campaigners, Against Windfarm At Low Spinney (Awfals) believe the access issues could hold up the project for a longer period.

Awfals spokesman Tony Leatham told the Mercury: “There are rumours going around why the start up has been delayed.

“We have not been told the exact nature of the problems.”

Pro-Wind Alliance spokesman Grahame Jordan said: “We would like to see the farm producing renewable energy as soon as possible.

“However, there are connection issues which Broadview is reluctant to talk about.”

National grid company Western Power Distribution conceded there was a delay in hooking up the wind farm but a spokesman was not available to make a detailed statement.

Once operational, money will be pumped into a community fund shared by the three neighbouring parishes.

Another wind farm firm says it is likely to begin construction on its 11-turbine farm near Swinford and Walcote during the autumn. Nuon UK was granted permission for its wind farm before Broadview Energy, but is yet to begin construction. Nuon says it is likely the site will be on line in 2012.

Source:  Leicester Mercury, www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk 21 July 2011

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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