Company gets the hairdryer treatment for its ‘museum piece’ wind turbines (From Wharfedale Observer)
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Company gets the hairdryer treatment for its ‘museum piece’ wind turbines
“Museum piece” wind turbines at Chelker Reservoir in Addingham produce just enough electricity to power 23 hairdryers a day, say villagers!
Parishioners Against Chelker Turbines (PACT) chairman, Peter Rigby, told Craven District Council’s planning committee that during a seven-month period, the two turbines produced just 1400kw of electricity.
He claims this amounts to very little energy, and urged the local authority to take action under the original planning consent to have the outdated turbines removed.
Coun Rigby also claimed figures being produced by owners Yorkshire Water did not match the views of residents, who witnessed the turbines turning for less than an hour every day.
He added Yorkshire Water had not claimed its Renewable Obligation Certif-icates (ROCs) from Ofgem because the amount of electricity was so low, and not because of an “administrative error”, as claimed by the firm.
But Yorkshire Water told the council the turbines (pictured) were producing electricity and, as such, were operational. And as long as they are, the council could not enforce one of the original conditions that the turbines would have to be removed no more than six months after they stopped working.
Councillors decided to ask for an investigation into what constituted ‘operational’.
The committee was warned against a full-blown inquiry because of limited time and resources in the enforcement department.
Committee chairman Coun Richard Welch (Con) said he thought it would be difficult to prove the turbines were not operating, however little electricity they were gener-ating. “From a layman’s point of view, if it lights just one lightbulb, it is still working,” he said.
And Coun Ady Green (Con) added the council would look foolish if it challenged the company.
“It is still operational if it’s producing enough energy for one or 50,000 hairdryers. I think we would be foolish to spend any more money bickering with Yorkshire Water over this,” he added.
But Coun Robert Heseltine (Ind) said he had little time for Yorkshire Water, and accused the company of not being entirely truthful with the council.
He added he doubted the operational figures produced by the company, and asked for an independent investigation.
Coun Alan Sutcliffe (Con) said anyone could see the turbines were little more than “museum pieces”.
“We should spend a little bit of money finding out how much energy they are producing,” he added.
The committee had been due to discuss possible enforcement action at its meeting last month, but the report was withdrawn at the last minute following evidence that Yorkshire Water had not claimed its ROCs since June 2011. ROCs are used to prove the generation of renewable energy, and it had been suggested the company’s failure to apply proved the turbines were not working.
However, the company responded that it had not claimed the ROCs because of an “administrative error”, which has now been rectified.