22nd September 2019
The local community was shocked and surprised to learn that the ‘giant’ 177m test wind turbine that remains on Hunterston construction yard is to be felled by explosives!
It’s difficult not to see this as another example of industrial operators at Hunterston paying little regard to the environmental impact of their operations. In addition to the concern about toppling one of the largest wind turbines in Europe next to a SSSI, the wisdom of felling something of this scale next door to Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station when EFD Energy has just restarted cracked Reactor 4 has not gone unnoticed.
An article on 12 September in the Largs and Millport Weekly News gave an extensive explanation of the reason for demolition, with reference to a NAC spokesperson saying that SSE had advised them that crane dismantling of the turbine had been blocked by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). One of our supporters with professional experience in the field thought this explanation unlikely, as HSE normally do not get closely involved in such decision-making processes. Usually HSE expect the responsible company to determine their own risk based assessment and then to be held to it.
When contacted direct HSE to ask if they had prevented crane demolition of the turbine the answer from HSE was a definite “No”. They have not told SSE that they cannot take this turbine down using crane dismantling as reported in the local press.
So what are we to believe and who is accountable?
As summer draws to a close, we are left wondering what further surprises our neighbours at Hunterston have in store. It seems that even with companies such as SSE, who state they support green energy and the eco culture, we cannot be sure that the information made available to the community is transparent and that decisions are genuinely underpinned by environmental best practice and not purely on cost.