The Safety Aspects of Highland Council’s Practice of Placing Small Wind Turbines in School Playgrounds

This is an issue that I have addressed in length before but Stuart Young, a long time expert in wind energy, has now produced a report for Caithness Windfarm Information Forum which should be read and studied by all those whose local authority follow the misguided approach, no doubt hoping to influence children to their beliefs, of introducing wind turbines onto school premises. 

The Report Click on the link to open the full report.

To provide a synopsis of the report read this:

The key findings of a report by Stuart Young Consulting are:

An independent expert review of the safety of putting wind turbines on school premises is essential.

Current control measures require head teachers to leave the classroom and venture forth to take windspeed readings and shut down turbines in Hurricane Force wind speeds when “debris and unsecured objects are hurled about”.

Highland Council recommend exclusion zones for safety reasons – e.g. fall, topple, ejection – but none seem to have been provided.

Turbines are to be allowed to operate in winds up to 107mph – “tropical cyclone levels”.

The risk posed to head teachers through implementing Highland Council safety measures would be even greater than the risk posed to pupils by the turbines themselves.

Highland Council embarked on a strategy of placing turbines in school playgrounds without a policy and without a risk assessment.

On the Risk Assessment Matrix a scale of 1 to 3 for likelihood with 1 being “Very unlikely” is a very blunt instrument when the possible consequence of an event is the death of a child.

Highland Council believes that halving the maintenance intervals leaves a zero residual risk of catastrophic mechanical failure. Logic and experience do not support this belief.

Available evidence of small turbine failures points to a precautionary approach which Highland Council ignores.

There is already evidence in Scotland that catastrophic turbine failures occur with consequent violent debris ejection. It cannot be ignored.

“The fact that almost half a million pounds had been spent before a policy was developed or risk assessment undertaken may suggest a reason for the continuing practice of placing wind turbines in school playgrounds”.

The report finds that “if Highland Council had formulated a policy for turbines in school playgrounds and subjected it to rigorous risk assessment, informed by observation and experience, these turbines would almost certainly have not been installed”.

The report was carried out by Caithness consultant Stuart Young whose 2010 Analysis of UK Wind Power Generation created international headlines when it exposed for the first time the true inefficiency of windfarm output.

For more detailed information on all the communication with Highland Council click here

Craighill Primary School, Tain

Craighill Primary School, Tain


About Dougal Quixote

Slightly mad. Always believes a cup is half full so continues to tilt at Wind Turbines and the politicians that seem to believe it is their god given right to ruin Scotland for a pot of fool's gold.
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