Suffolk's first wind turbine
By Ciarán Ryan
Suffolk's first commercial wind turbine has been built on Ness Point in Lowestoft. It's the tallest in the UK...
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Constructing the wind turbine
”There are ladders that go up to the nacelle unit [the housing for the generator, gearbox and electrical control equipment]. Eighty metres up, quite a climb," he said.
"There are two or three technicians up in the nacelle unit at the moment, giving instructions to the crane driver so that he can carefully manoeuvre the rotor blades into position.
”The rotor blades are secured in position in a similar way to the tower sections. Around the circumference of the housing there are hundreds of stud bolts – they locate into a flange [protruding edge]. Shortly, when that is in position you’ll hear the air guns tightening the nuts..."
Watching the construction at Ness Point
Earlier last week the specialist transportation vessel, the A2Sea MS Ocean Ady, docked in Lowestoft’s port to unload the components of the Vestas2 NM923 wind turbine.
Construction began on Tuesday 7th of December 2004. After the lifting and assembly of the 80m tower, nacelle and rotor blades, it was completed at 18:00 on Friday 10th of December.
Wind turbine being constructed
Throughout Friday, people gathered to observe the construction process on industrial land at Ness Point. In the evening a small crowd formed at Britain's most easterly point to watch the blades being lifted into place.
Local resident Steve Powley was watching the wind turbine being built.
”It’s not as huge as I was expecting,” said Steve. “I was expecting it to be much bigger, much more dominating on the landscape. I think it fits in well with the surroundings.”
Victoria in front of the turbine's tower
Victoria Cockrell, a technical assistant with Waveney district council, was also observing the building of the wind turbine.
”It’s not in a conservation area,” she said. “But it is an area of special interest. We’re quite interested to see the impact of it on the rest of the town.”
Once the turbine's blades were in place, Megan Arnold, a Business Development Manager, with SLP Energy, commented:
Steve in front of the turbine
”It's the largest wind turbine onshore in Britain, and the first commercial wind turbine for Suffolk,"
"It’s been a flawless operation, so far today. We’ve been very lucky. It hasn’t been very windy, which is what you want when you are installing a wind turbine… and after that you want it to blow like crazy!.”
Russell added: “It will start generating electricity within the next week or so, then they have to synchronise it with the [National] Grid connection.
View of the turbine tower
”It will be January before it is commissioned and becomes fully operational."