SSE Hunterston Wind turbine Test Facility
Liaison Group Meeting: 08/11/2016 Summary
Attended by Rita Holmes and Karla Tully on behalf of FCC. Millport and Largs CC’s also attended.
SSE stated that the Hunterston site presents a unique location in UK which enables off shore wind turbines to be safely tested on shore due to weather conditions and accessibility.
Site has 3 ‘berths’: 2 utilised; third held by Scottish Enterprise but unlikely to be occupied in this planning period.
Siemens Turbine (D6)
- Current planning permission until October 2017, SSE asking for 2 year extension.
- Porto-type built on site 2014, coming to end of testing with a 6 mega watt output.
- Successfully secured orders for 300 to 350 in UK waters at Moray Firth and Galloper (East Anglia). Meets International Electrical Technical (IET) standards.
- Gear-less motor to extend life and minimise maintenance requirements.
- SSE want to extend site to enable Siemens to train engineers safely.
- Recognise that Training Centre should benefit local community with small number of jobs, education opportunities and facilities.
- SeaAngel™ turbine – featuring unique hydraulic technology developed in Scotland – 7MW output.
- Only operating intermittently. In early test phase
- Local Glasgow firm developing ‘met’ mast measuring systems using lasers transmitted upwards.
- Proposal to use site to test laser technology.
- No impact on safety known.
- Details to follow.
S42 Planning Application
- December 2016: Application to extend current permission to October 2019.
- If successful, will then apply for major planning application to be defined.
- Local CC’s asked that use of each ‘berth’ always consulted upon in application.
SSE Presentation : Issues raised by members of the public at FCC on 5th December 2016.
- Scottish Government (SNP) Policy does not advocate windturbines as principle renewable energy source?
PA responded that funding is received from Scottish Government.
- SSE Social finding allocates £50K across three local communities; MOP suggested that app £800K per KW potentially, (£millions generated even though not fully commissioned?), and asked for a more representative contribution of permission granted. PA to look in to.
- Light pollution increased. PA stated turbines site does not produce light. Likely to be Hunterston Power Station and Peelport.
- Concerns that planning permission should still allow for review of change of use of any part of the site whilst operational , and that a generic or blanket permission is not granted.
- On request from TM (NAC), SSE committed to submit planning application after Christmas to allow all interested parties reasonable time to respond.
- MOP believes that permission only granted previously as NAC Chair was pro wind power and that locals were always concerned that the 5 years would always be manipulated. PA assured those present that the site was for testing and training only and application was not for a generation site.
- Environmental impact and health impacts of infra sound a real concern especially as these are the biggest turbines on land world wide; residents complaining of dizziness. SSE have commissioned a recent independent acoustic survey; results January 2017.
- Have SSE considered impact on marine life? Ask for an environmental impact assessment that looks at
whole area – land and sea.
- When will full noise survey be made as turbines are not at full capacity? Concerns that SSE are not really taking locals’ concerns seriously.