[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Moratorium call over exploding wind turbine ‘tinderbox’ fears  

Credit:  The Southern Reporter, www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk 18 December 2011 ~~

It has become one of the iconic images of last Thursday’s storm in which the south of Scotland was hammered by gale force winds and resulting in Scottish Borders Council (SBC) closing all schools early.

Two incidents during the storm – a turbine bursting into flames at Ardrossan in North Ayrshire and another crashing to the ground near Coldingham in Berwickshire have led a Borders campaign group to call for a moratorium on all further wind farm developments.

“It does not bear thinking about if what happened near Ardrossan was to happen here,” said Malcolm McGregor, chairman of the Hermitage Action Group (HAG), founded in July to fight plans for a 20-turbine windfarm at Windy Edge, near Hermitage Castle.

The turbine explosion, apparently caused by a braking system malfunction, occurred on a development owned by Infinis Wind Holdings, the company behind the Windy Edge proposal.

The company, which has a meteorological monitoring mast on the Borders site – skirting Wauchope Forest and covering the farms of Braidlie and Sundhope – is addressing a request by SBC planners to outline the effect of the development on ecology and wildlife.

Up to now, HAG, which has drawn support from Liddesdale residents from Hermitage, Whitrope, Steele Road and Shankend as well as Newcastleton six miles away, has highlighted what it considers the adverse impact on the historic castle and its landscape setting.

But Mr McGregor believes the two storm incidents, especially the Ardrossan explosion, offer more grist to the mill of those who believe developments at Windy Edge and many other hitherto unspoiled Borders locations targeted by renewable energy companies, are unacceptable.

“The Ayrshire turbine was 100 metres high and the blaze raged for around 20 minutes before the fire brigade arrived to extinguish it,” claimed Mr McGregor. “According to the photographer, Stuart McMahon, there was debris still on fire being swept off in the wind and across the fields.

“The turbines planned for Windy Edge are taller – 125 metres from base to blade tip – and there is no way the fire service could access the site in sufficient time. It is one thing getting to the road end, but Sundhope and Braidlee are notoriously boggy.

“Given the proximity of Wauchope Forest as well as our homes, one can only shudder at what would happen if we had such bad winds in dry weather and a turbine caught fire. It would be a tinderbox.”

Mr McGregor said his action group was supporting Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS) in calling on the Scottish Government, in view of the two incidents, to implement an immediate moratorium on any further wind turbines.

“A clear health and safety issue has now emerged, especially given the Met Office forecasts of further deep depressions hitting Scotland and the surge in wind farm applications in the Borders,” said Mr McGregor.

“The current guidelines, designed to keep turbines away from houses, hospitals, schools and key roads, are clearly not effective enough. In the two incidents, it is fortunate that no-one was hurt, but they should act as a wake-up call to the government, planners and developers.”

The turbine that was blown down in Berwickshire was about half-a-mile north of Coldingam at the Lamsdaine junction on the A1107. The tip of a blade came to rest within five metres of that road.

z Plans for a six-turbine wind farm at Spurlens Rig near Leadburn were rejected this week by Scottish Borders Council planners.

Using delegated powers, the officers determined that the bid by Lomond Energy breached council planning policy and that the development would have “a significant adverse impact on the landscape character of the area [including the Pentlands and Moorfoots] and surrounding countryside”.

Lomond Energy declined to comment.

Source:  The Southern Reporter, www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk 18 December 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.