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Spondon residents frustrated at lack of action over ‘idle’ wind turbines

The two controversial wind turbines at Spondon have been erected for more than 600 days but they are still not regularly producing energy.

Councillors and residents have expressed concern and anger that the structures, which were installed by Severn Trent in December 2013, are not working full-time.

According to Severn Trent statistics, the wind turbines will produce 10,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year – the equivalent of supplying about 3,000 homes with power.

Those figures mean that had they been operational since they were installed, around 16,666 megawatt hours of electricity would have been produced.

Spondon councillor Chris Poulter said he was frustrated with the situation.

Mr Poulter said: “I’m really concerned that they are not working and are not producing regular energy.

“I think it’s important that they do because they’ve been up there for long enough now. I think Severn Trent as a company is as frustrated as everybody else that they’re not working.

“I’m sure they don’t want them to be stood there idle and only testing.

“I think turbines are good for green energy and alternative ways of producing energy but they need to be working all of the time.”

Spondon resident Dave Borrington has always been against the turbines because he thinks they are a blot on the landscape. However, he admitted he believes they are now here to stay.

He said: “I don’t like the look of them but I think people have got used to them. But they need to be working, it’s silly having them stood there but not regularly working.”

Problems have existed because when the turbines have been operating in the past, they have appeared on the air traffic control system at East Midlands Airport. A new radar system has been installed to try to sort out the problem.

Martin Dent, energy expert for Severn Trent, said the structures have produced 1,200 megawatt hours of energy since testing started, which is enough to power 360 homes – a fraction of what should have been produced.

Mr Dent said: “So while the turbines haven’t been used to their full capacity while we’ve been testing them over the last 18 months, they have produced energy. And when they do turn permanently, they will generate enough energy to power 69,000 homes over the next 23 years (3,000 homes a year).

“No-one wants the wind turbines turning permanently more than we do and we’ve worked very closely with (radar technology company) Aveillant and East Midlands Airport over the last 18 months to develop and install the 3D holographic radar system to support the turbines.

“We understand that it’s been frustrating for the local community not seeing them running.”

The company said the turbines will be generating energy regularly as soon as it has permission.