Published: 26/01/2012 23:59 - Updated: 27/01/2012 11:07

Two year guarantee says it all

Sir – I have to applaud the NT for highlighting the dangers presented by failing wind turbines, particularly since Highland Council are still pursuing a policy of a turbine at every primary school.

At a time of supposed budget constraints, spending a quarter of a million pounds (and counting) on generators which are known to fail is fiscal folly.

How long will it be before HC are faced with litigation for damage or injury?

Your article in last week's NT refers to the publicly-funded Rhue Stoer Hall turbine which failed after only six months and, surprisingly, the instigator of this project claims to know nothing of the likely cause of the damage and goes on to say that "the firm have never had this happen before".

This is patently untrue as it is no secret that at least five of these turbines had failed in a similar fashion in Ireland and I believe the failures there are now into double figures.

(Discussions between installers and individuals about the causes of such failures are in the public domain – Google "Eoltec Scirocco failures" – Hugh Piggott's blog and the Evance or Eoltec entries are useful starting points).

If Stoer Hall Committee had been spending their own hard-earned cash rather than receiving a £30k public hand-out, they might have done more thorough research and tested the onsite wind conditions first.

Mr Cook compounds this nonsense by saying that the turbine "could not possibly cause any damage". The first broken blade travelled 18m when the wind speed was below 35mph and the turbine is a mere 20m from the nearest property, so the neighbours must think themselves lucky that the turbine did not shed its blades earlier that same week when the prevailing wind speed was over 50mph.

Likewise, Assynt Crofters' Trust are probably mightily relieved that their application for an identical turbine, vociferously championed by Councillor George Farlow, was refused.

The fact that a manufacturer states that a turbine will have a lifespan of 20-25 years but then offers to guarantee it for only two years – a shorter term than the average dishwasher – demonstrates just how reliable they expect it to be.

Julie Grey, 169 Stoer.

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