Defective wind turbines in Almondsbury to be replaced
FAULTY wind turbines which have been out of action for the past nine months in Almondsbury are due to be replaced at a cost of £19,000.
The two 19.8 metre masts on Almondsbury Sports and Social Club's grounds provoked an outcry from villagers, cricketers and parish councillors, when they were first erected.
Cricket club members in particular strongly objected to the turbines, claiming they posed a serious health and safety threat.
Many worried about large shards of glass on the blades snapping off in the winter and hitting players during games.
Residents also raised concerns at the time about erecting turbines so close to the Almondsbury motorway interchange, saying they would distract passing drivers on the M5.
Just six months after they were built however, a design fault was discovered by manufacturer Proven Energy and the Sports and Social Club was advised to turn them off.
The supplier, which had sold more than 300 turbines with defective shafts across the UK, soon went into administration, leaving the group in the lurch.
The poles were supposed to help the club generate up to 77 per cent of its energy requirements and significantly cut its £10,000-a-year power bill.
Now, nearly a year on, Almondsbury Sports and Social Club trustee Mike Blessing has managed to raise around £19,000 towards the repairs and has already placed an order with VG Energy for new shafts to be fitted.
Mr Blessing said: "Proven Energy were supported by government organisations. We went through the process of applications and funding and we raised about £105,000 and received private donations of £20,000.
"Proven Energy were not underwritten by anybody for defects so when they had a problem to solve they couldn't substantiate it.
"We wrote to government agencies, to local MPs. They were getting nowhere like we were. It was a complete joke."
He added: "The company that is going to do the repairs is VG Energy but they have 200 other turbines to look at before us. The turbines will probably work next year."
Parish councillor Ted Lloyd said he was looking forward to finally seeing the turbines fulfil their purpose.
He said: "Mike has done all of it by himself. He has begged and borrowed and now it’s going to happen. We are so grateful. He really is a blessing in disguise.
"We had them up for six months and then we had correspondence from the designers. It was not just a local thing, it happened all over the country."