Well last week was eventful to say the least. One of my favourite topics, the siting of wind turbines in schools was brought into stark relief with the destruction of a wind turbine in Caithness in wind speeds of only 40mph. The Highland Council quote ‘elf and safety mitigation of twice yearly service with some turbines now surrounded by fencing. Even the most inexperienced know that even an MOT won’t prevent a car breaking down the next day. The Raasay turbine, now removed, threw blades and heavy parts over a school
playground the day after the engineer had serviced it. And yes, we all have experience of equipment working until the engineers service it after which it breaks down. Murphy’s Law. Their comments that Evance turbines are safe up to 135mph winds is so ridiculous as not to be worth a response. An excellent press release was taken up by most major newsheets and many articles resulted. Less the articles but the comments attached to such articles suggest that The Highland Council does not really understand Risk Assessment. This of course is part of the green agenda to indoctrinate school children ably abetted by too many teachers. Whilst many teachers are excellent I do sometimes wonder that we entrust so many of our children to some absolute dolts! Before I get raked with hot coals I do have teachers in my family and I refer you to the word SOME!
Moving on: The saga at Wester Balblair sub-station gathers pace. Two local councillors were taken to the site to experience the noise and were absolutely horrified, Noise experts from The Highland Council have identified that the levels of noise are a statuory nuisance and may well breach planning requirements. SSE are prevaricating and referring to noise models that show that they are within guidelines. They asked for the names of all homes effected and then never went and made any physical checks. Essentially we, the PBI, have identified where the noise is emanating from. Something SSE’s teams of engineers and noise consultants have supposedly failed to do. It is from the s-VAR Compensators, otherwise known as Thyristor Controlled Reactors. A simple search through Google and Siemens suggests that these should be within buildings in populated areas due to noise. SSE have obviously tried to save money by putting them outside and now have been caught with their pants around their ankles. TCRs or s-VARs are to regulate and balance the variability of wind turbines. In truth if we had no wind farms these would not be needed. A caveat is that there are several other substations down the Beauly Denny line and as these are activated this problem will become apparent there too.
Thirdly we see the first parliamentary party dragged down and kicked out because of it’s carbon and renewable policy. In Australia the Rudd/Gillard administrations have foundered on the rocks and the Abbott(Global Warming is Crap) administration are now in control. However it is a liberal party and we know how damaging they have been to the UK. Obviously cut from a different cloth we can but wait and see. Problem has always been that Poluticians in opposition make promises that are rarely maintained under the reality of power.
And lastly we note that Scotrail has built two wind turbines on it’s Bathgate premises. The PR photo shows trains with overhead electric pantographs which suggests to the gullible urbanista that these two mini turbines in a station environment would provide enough power to more than boil a kettle(when the wind blows). Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said: “The wind turbines at Bathgate are part of our continual focus on providing a more environmentally-friendly and fuel efficient railway for Scotland. Who does he think he is kidding. These are the same Evance R900(5KW) built in school
playgrounds and the placement, away from houses, in the car park raises interesting ‘elf and safety issues. Another Caithness in the Bathgate car park and Scotrail will have an interesting insurance claim on their hands at least but with possible fatal consequences. For the information of Mr. Montgomery. a domestic kettle uses about 3kw so his 5kw turbines will have very limited use. And that is only when the wind blows at optimum speed. Looking at the site I would suggest that to be a rare occasion.