£48k turbine which made just £5 of power a month to be removed

By Paul Martin
BBC News

  • Published
Media caption,

The turbine was put up at the Welsh government's Aberystwyth office when it opened in 2009

A wind turbine which cost the taxpayer £48,000 and generated an average of just £5 worth of electricity per month is being removed.

It was put up at the Welsh government's Aberystwyth office when it opened in 2009 as part of a range of environmentally-friendly features.

But ministers came under fire last year over its output and will now remove it.

They say the turbine's manufacturer went into liquidation and they were not likely to find someone to maintain it.

Last year, the Welsh government confirmed in a response to a Freedom of Information request that between January 2012 and July 2013 the turbine generated 585 kilowatt hours of energy (kWh) - an average of 33 kWh per month.

Taking 16p as an estimate for the price of electricity per kWh in the consumer market, that worked out at a value of £5.28 per month.

At that rate it would have taken hundreds of years for the turbine to offset its cost.

At the time ministers blamed mechanical problems for the poor performance.

But before it was installed, the turbine makers, Quiet Revolution, warned Welsh government contractors it would not be exposed to enough wind where it was positioned.

'Electrically isolated'

The turbine broke down in January and Quiet Revolution went into administration soon after.

A Welsh government spokesman said: "The manufacturer of the micro turbine recently went into liquidation, and as the prospects of finding a company able to take on the maintenance and repair are limited, we are considering options for its removal.

"The turbine developed a fault in January.

"The safety equipment on the turbine locked the brakes on and electrically isolated the turbine.

"Our contractor were in discussion with Quiet Revolution until 27 March to try and resolve the fault, when they received an email that the company had gone into administration.

"They have been unable to progress the matter with the administrator and, as such, the wind turbine has remained out of use."

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