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‘Our TV signal is being disrupted by turbine’

A new 77-metre high wind turbine at the Nantycaws landfill site in Llangunnor could be the root of television signal disruption stretching as far as Johnstown it is claimed.

The turbine erected over the last month by Infinite Energy produces 500KW but some households may be experiencing intermittent signal problems on Freeview channels according to a town businessman.

As the crow flies the turbine is in line with the Carmel transmitter and Johnstown.

Andy Joyce, a director at Carmarthen Electronics in John Street, uses Freeview to demonstrate televisions for customers and started having signal issues about a fortnight ago.

“Certain clusters of channels started breaking up and when we tested the signal you could see the measuring equipment displaying the signal going up and down as if it was being blocked.”

Steve Whitton who has his own aerial installation businesses tested the signal at Carrmarthen Electronics and confirmed the likely cause was the turbine facing in a certain direction.

“As the turbine head turns it can then disrupt signals on televisions, mobile phones and possible digital radios. So even when the blades are not turning if the head of the turbine stops in a certain position it can block our signal.

“The televisions in the shop were just being pixellated at certain times.”

Mr Whitton said potentially many homes could be affected. “There was a property in Johnstown which had an issue that I put down to the turbine but there may well be other homes where signal is dropping on and off in the town.

“People tend to put up with bad signal if it’s happening on and off.

“They put it down to the weather or whatever but there are more and more examples of turbines affecting reception across the UK. And I am seeing more in Carmarthenshire too.

“I have been to homes where signal problems are and I ask if a wind turbine has been put up locally and when I check it is often bang on the horizon.

“If in line with a turbine the closer you are the worse the signal drop is.”

“I think as time goes on we could see a pattern emerging of an area of bad Freeview signal between Nantycaws across town because nearly all aerials in town point out towards Carmel.

Mr Joyce at Carmarthen Electronics said: “Surely there should have been some consultation over aerials and transmitters in the area when planning permission was sought over the turbine.

“They do studies into the environment and wildlife, nearby homes, so why in this case it seems there was noting on transmission masts. I went to the landfill over Easter and my 3G phone signal dropped to zero coverage in front of the turbine.”

Mr Joyce has contacted BBC transmitter services over the issue.

Carmarthenshire Council senior development management officer Stephen Thomas said: “We have not received any official complaints.

“If they submit a complaint via enforcement complaints we will look into the matter.”

The Journal tried to get in touch with Infinite Energy but could not contact them at the time of going to press.