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Concern over condition of Barnesmore wind turbines despite reassurances from owners

People in the Barnesmore area have voiced concern after it was noticed that the head of a wind turbine was lying on the ground.

Paul Ferguson from Barnesmore windfarm owners Scottish Power Renewables told the Donegal Post / Donegal Now that this was due to planned maintenance work. He said this type of work typically took place over the summer months.

However with the lifespan of a wind turbine estimated to be around 20 years, there are local concerns that the 19 year-old turbines could be at serious risk of damage from wear and tear.

The county has already seen a number of incidents where supposedly safe turbines fell or had a blade break off and travel some distance from the turbine.

One Barnesmore woman who preferred not to be named said: “When they first came here I thought it was a good thing. We were happy to go along with it because it was supposed to be better for the environment and bring the cost of electricity down. Now you see those new giant windmills going up at Leghowney and you wonder how they ever got permission to do that and I don’t see my electricity getting any cheaper.”

The woman said she had been speaking to a neighbour about the new turbines at Meenadreen and he told her: “They’re like big claws, and us the eejits that let them get their big claws into us.”

Windfarm development remains controversial. Advocates say the production of renewable energy far outweighs any visual impact and is vital in reducing greenhouse gas production.

Those opposed say there are other ways to achieve the same goal without the unsightly turbines and the effects on tourism and health.

Whatever way you look at it, Donegal is certainly carrying far more than its fair share of Ireland’s green energy burden.

More on this and other local news stories in the Donegal Post in shops now