Sue’s blast at inactive Defra windmills

Sue Allcroft and the turbines outside the Defra building in Alnwick.
Sue Allcroft and the turbines outside the Defra building in Alnwick.

WIND turbines at a flagship government building in Alnwick have ground to a halt once more, sparking a complaint by a town councillor over their lack of use.

The three generators at Defra’s Lion House offices on Willowburn Trading Estate rarely turned in 2010 following a worldwide recall of the renewables equipment by their Scottish-based manufacturer, Proven Energy.

They went back on line at the end of last year, but are now again at a standstill.

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.

But town councillor Sue Allcroft has now written to Defra, raising her concerns at the turbines’ apparent lack of reliability. “It hardly fills you with confidence, especially with the large number of applications for wind turbines across rural Northumberland,” she said. “They are constantly off. I’m not anti-windfarm, but this does raise serious questions about how effective this technology is.”

A spokesman for Defra said: “We were advised in September by Proven of a potential defect in the manufacture of the wind turbine model used at Lion House, and advised to stop the turbines for safety reasons while the company carried out tests.

“Defra is waiting for confirmation from the company that the turbines are safe to re-start.”

However, Proven Energy went into administration in September and has since been sold to Ireland-based Kingspan Renewables.

l Sue’s letter to Defra is printed on Page 10