Is­land tur­bine has never turned a blade

The Oban Times - - News -

COLL’S con­tro­ver­sial 77-me­tre wind tur­bine at Gal­lanach ‘hasn’t turned a blade’ since it was in­stalled more than six months ago.

Coun­cil­lors Roddy McCuish and Neil MacIn­tyre were ‘as­ton­ished’ to learn at an is­land surgery last week that the 252ft tur­bine ‘has never worked’.

‘All that grief and it doesn’t work,’ Coun­cil­lor McCuish told The Oban

Times. ‘It’s like a big Wicker Man. The is­lan­ders want to de­com­mis­sion it.’

In Oc­to­ber 2012, is­lan­der Neil Smith, di­rec­tor of Gal­lanach Green ap­pa­ra­tus is cur­rently not gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity due to a bro­ken gen­er­a­tor.

‘The ap­pli­cant has stated that the re­pair can be car­ried out us­ing like for like parts and small ap­pa­ra­tus/crane.

‘There is a con­di­tion that states that if the wind tur­bine fails to pro­duce elec­tric­ity sup­ply to a lo­cal grid for a con­tin­u­ous pe­riod of 12 months, then it will be deemed to have ceased to be re­quired.

‘ We will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion.’

Mr Smith could not be con­tacted for com­ment. and rock pecker ma­chines be­gan chan­nelling a route through the cliff face.

Coun­cil of­fi­cers served an in­ter­dict to halt the work be­cause, they ar­gued, Mr Smith had not been granted plan­ning per­mis­sion to cre­ate a track on his land run­ning 500m from the beach to the tur­bine site.

Per­mis­sion was later se­cured, with con­di­tions agreed by the coun­cil, and the tur­bine was erected sev­eral months ago.

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: ‘The coun­cil un­der­stands that the Gen­er­a­tion Ltd (GGG), was granted plan­ning con­sent to erect the 252ft tur­bine at Gal­lanach Farm, de­spite more than 100 of the is­land’s 137 in­hab­i­tants sign­ing a pe­ti­tion against the 750kw tur­bine.

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil ex­pected the de­vel­oper to up­grade the is­land’s single-track road to trans­port the gi­ant com­po­nents.

But on the May bank hol­i­day weekend last year, fu­ri­ous is­lan­ders watched in hor­ror as barges landed con­struc­tion equip­ment on the pris­tine white sands of Gal­lanach beach,

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