After two years off wind turbines are on the move again

Sue Allcroft and the turbines outside the Defra building in Alnwick.
Sue Allcroft and the turbines outside the Defra building in Alnwick.
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Three wind turbines at a government building on the edge of Alnwick are on the move again.

The generators at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Lion House on WIllowburn Trading Estate hardly turned in 2010 and were switched off in 2011 because of a worldwide recall of the model by manufacturer Proven Energy.

However, Proven went into administration in September 2011 and the company was sold to Kingspan.

But as part of the agreement in taking over the company, Kingspan did not take responsibility for the turbines.

This meant that Defra was likely to have to foot the bill for the repairs.

However the turbines have recently been switched back on and are now providing power for the building again.

In 2011, Sue Allcroft, then a town councillor, wrote a letter to Defra raising concerns about the turbines’ reliability.

She said: “I am delighted that they have been mended.

“It seemed absolutely pointless to me to put turbines up then let them stand still.

“I am pleased but I still have my doubts about turbines because their efficency levels are so low.”

Lion House was heralded as one of the most energy-efficient buildings in Britain, winning a number of awards for its array of eco-friendly features, including rainwater recycling, solar panels and a biomass boiler.

A spokeswoman for Defra said: “The turbine was taken out of operation because of a faulty design feature to a particular part which needed to be redesigned. The original manufacturer had gone out of business so it took time to source a new company to design the part.”