North Ayrshire MP Katy Clark had urged villagers to let her know of any problems associated with the first SSE wind turbine which has begun operating this week.
The Labour politician visited the site of the test wind turbines at Hunterston on Thursday 20 February to make her own observations of the work at the controversial facility.
Ms Clark was shown round the site by Kirstanne McDowall of SSE and Russell Maxwell, who is the site’s assistant project manager. She viewed the first wind turbine, which is near completion, as well as the site for the second turbine, which is about to have its concrete foundation poured in.
Ms Clark said: “The wind turbine site at Hunterston will eventually host three wind turbines that are each testing out new and experimental designs and technology for offshore windfarms.
“There has been concern about the proximity of the turbines to residential areas, the size of the turbines and that this may result in noise being heard or vibrations being felt by local residents.
I, therefore, wanted to see the testing facility for myself although the turbine which has been erected so far had still not started operating when I visited as there has been some delay and so far any activity has been relating to the erection of the first turbine.
“In my discussion with SSE I was informed that the first turbine is due to energised within the next few weeks, so I would ask local people to monitor the impact that the active turbine may have and let me know of any problems.
“SSE advised me that as the point of these turbines is experimental, the various companies involved are undertaking extensive monitoring of the results themselves. This monitoring is necessary to fully test and approve the new technologies, so there will be a continual collecting of data and information. However, if any constituents have concerns they can contact my office and I would raise this matter with SSE directly.”
“The second turbine site will see the foundations being filled in with concrete over the coming weeks. When the concrete pour is taking place there will be a continual stream of lorries on A78 along the agreed route. Again though, if there are any problems that arise as a result of this then constituents should not hesitate to contact my office.”
Russell Maxwell, SSE’s Assistant Project Manager said: “We were delighted to welcome Katy Clark MP to the Hunterston Offshore Test Facility and update her on the construction activity that is underway. As a responsible developer we have kept the community updated throughout the duration of the works by issuing community newsletters and project website updates so we welcome the views of the local community.”
“It is an exciting time as the project’s community fund has supported local projects to the value of around £39k and is approaching an important milestone with the imminent commissioning of the Siemens turbine. This will see the turbine begin to generate wind powered electricity and export it to the national grid while at the same time providing Siemens with important data about how their latest technology performs ahead of future deployment offshore.”
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