School’s green dream is blown away: £55,000 bill after wind turbine breaks down and firm that installed it goes bust
A school’s eco-friendly dream of free power from a £55,000 wind turbine has been blown away after it broke down and the company that installed it went bust.
The Gorran School in Cornwall has been left with a pile of scrap after their windmill seized up and governors found it was developed from ‘completely unproven technology’.
Since then, governors have been locked in a legal battle with suppliers Proven Energy – which has gone into administration, leaving the school with scant hope of getting their money back.
The school had unveiled its 15-metre turbine in 2008. It was designed to provide it with free energy and a surplus it was hoped could be sold back to to the National Grid.
The system was seen as a green blueprint for clean, sustainable energy for schools nationwide and received grants from various bodies including EDF, the energy giant.
But soon after being installed the wind turbine became faulty and after a few months jammed – showering the school’s playing field with debris.
Sue Hawken, chairman of the school governors, said: ‘It has been an absolute nightmare from start to finish.
‘We’ve put a claim in but realistically I don’t expect to get a single penny from this company.
‘Unbeknown to us, the 15 kilowatt turbine that Proven Energy installed was completely unproven technology that never really worked.
‘Proven Energy wrote to us to confirm the design fault. With that in mind we are advising owners to place their wind turbines on brake as soon as it is safe to do so.
‘It is an absolute disgrace and I feel the company has acted atrociously.’
A statement on the Proven Energy website reads: ‘Proven Energy has become aware of a potential manufacturing defect in its Proven 35-2 wind turbine (The Proven 7 and Proven 11 are unaffected).
‘We are investigating this, however, our work to date has now shown that a significant number of shafts may be affected across multiple manufacturing batches.’
Gorran School says it will look at solar panels as an alternative in the future.
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