Martin Williams Senior News Reporter
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
The Hunterston Offshore Wind Turbine Test facility from SSE Plc on Vimeo.
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.