New spin for AMRC’s failed wind turbine project

A rainbow caught over the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham
A rainbow caught over the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham
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Two wind turbines on South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park are to be demolished after being mothballed for around two years, because the blades fell off one of them.

The 40-metre high turbine towers, minus their blades and clearly visible from both the M1 and the Parkway, will be replaced by a single turbine that is more than twice as high and can generate almost four times as much power.

The twin-bladed turbines were built to provide power for the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Plans for a single, taller turbine were ruled out because it would pose a risk to planes using the nearby Sheffield City Airport – even though flights to the airport had been stopped by that stage.

Wind turbulence close to the ground is believed to have caused the problem, which led to the turbines being shut down.

However the final demise of the airport, and the resolution of the dispute over who was responsible for the problem with the twin turbines, means a taller wind turbine, that will be unaffected by low level turbulence, can now be erected.

Although details of the settlement are not being released, a spokesman said there would be no additional cost for the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Foundations for a single 100-metre high, three-blade turbine have been laid close to the new Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre being built close to the AMRC.

The new turbine is expected to be up and running early in November and the old towers will come down within months, once work on extensions to the AMRC’s Composites Centre is completed.

The new turbine will be capable of generating around 850kW, compared with the 220kW rating of each of the twin turbines.

Power from the turbine, combined with energy produced by ground source heat pumps linked to the NAMRC, should be sufficient to run the NAMRC and the AMRC buildings and their offices.

However, additional power will be needed for the heavy duty engineering equipment in both centres.