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Hunterston test turbine site hits trouble just months after receiving permission for a two year extension

The Hunterston test turbine site has ran into trouble just months after receiving permission for a two year extension.

SSE have confirmed to the News that there has been an issue with one of the blades belonging to the Siemens structure.

It is currently being investigated, while the other turbine, the Mitsubishi Sea Angel, is set to be decommissioned and removed.

The two year turbine extension, which was opposed by North Ayrshire Council and Fairlie Community Council was granted on appeal to Scottish ministers at the turn of the year.

Repairs will now have to be carried out on the Siemens machine.

The structures are an imposing sight on the coastline – the Siemens 6MW turbine has a tip height of 177m with a rotor diameter of 154m and the Mitsubishi 7MW Sea Angel turbine has a tip height of 193.5m with a rotor diameter of 167m.

An SSE spokesperson said: “The Mitsubishi turbine is aiming to have its testing completed by the end of June, subject to weather conditions.

“Once testing is complete the intention is then for the decommissioning process to commence in late summer with the expectation to have this work completed by October 2018.

“SSE is currently considering the future of the Siemens machine.”

The SSE website says that the company was delighted with the decision of the Scottish Government to grant consent for a two year time extension to the Hunterston facility, and that a local community liaison group meeting will be arranged.

During their consultations in the build-up to the two year extension, SSE had been telling community councils that there were future plans of a 20 year extension for the test turbine facility at the Hunterston site.

The energy company state that the Hunterston facility has been instrumental in securing Scotland’s place as an international leader in offshore wind energy research and development, and has injected £32.4m into the Scottish economy with £4.1m of this in North Ayrshire.

Since the project’s community fund began in 2013, £238,000 has been invested in grant payments across 102 local projects.