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SSE pull out of the UK’s only onshore wind turbine test site in Hunterston  

Credit:  Martin Williams, Senior News Reporter | The Herald | www.heraldscotland.com ~~

Energy giants SSE have called time on their national onshore wind turbine test facility at Hunterston after six years of operations.

The Perth-based company have no future plans after the Mitsubishi turbine operation ends this summer.

Testing of the Mitsubishi turbine is scheduled to end this summer, after which decommissioning will start and should be completed by the year-end.

The announcement will mean an end to the the giant wind turbines which have featured prominently on the skyline in the area.

Last year, residents of Fairlie, near Largs, claimed that the turbines caused dizziness, sickness, headaches and sleep disturbance.

But the local health authority said it was “unlikely” that the wind turbines are the cause of symptoms experienced by individuals.

SSE Renewables say that the site has been instrumental in securing Scotland’s place as an “international leader in offshore wind energy research”.

Steven Smilie, SSE’s renewable operations manager, said: “Hunterston has helped keep Scotland on the map when it comes to offshore wind development and has provided a great service to the offshore wind industry.

“With offshore wind now being a much more widely developed and deployed technology, it is time for the site to be decommissioned.

“In the past six years the site has not only brought benefits to the offshore wind industry and economic benefit to the region, the communities close to the wind farm have also benefited from the Hunterston Community Fund which has provided over £250,000 over the lifetime of the project.”

The National Offshore Wind Turbine Test Facility comprises of two turbines standing at 177 and 193.5 metres at Hunterston.

The site is around around one and half miles from the coastal village of Fairlie which sits across from the Isle of Arran and the Cumbraes.

The facility was established in 2012 for a five-year period. In January, last year, SSE applied to North Ayrshire Council for a two-year extension for the site which, if granted, would start in October 2017.

However, after objections by residents the issue was referred to the Scottish Government after SSE submitted an appeal against the non-determination of the application by North Ayrshire Council.

A 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.

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.

Source:  Martin Williams, Senior News Reporter | The Herald | www.heraldscotland.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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