Picture shows retired Down Councillor Bill Corry (L), Mr Carson (C ) and Cllr Cadogan Enright at the foot of the faulty turbine at Mr Carsons farm at Tyrella.

DOWN Cllr Cadogan Enright has called for the Department of Agriculture to answer outstanding questions associated with their renewable energy programme following recently highly publicised wind turbine defects.

Cllr Enright said “It is worrying to see these problems occurring with wind turbines when they can offer so many benefits to farmers, and when the renewable energy industry has worked so hard to develop the reputation and quality technologies and installations.”

One of the turbines which had been installed was on a farm owned by local man James Carson in Tyrella. Mr Carson received grant funding from the WREAN Programme to install a wind turbine and also paid £25,000 of his own money towards the costs.

“I visited Mr Carson on his farm and he told me that he only received two days of energy before the system had to be tied up and it hasn’t produced energy since. That was big money for a bad result” Cllr Enright said.

Cllr Enright has contacted the Department of Agriculture in respect of this to ask for more information and to call for compensation for the eleven farmers who have also had problems with their turbines. “The silence from the Department of Agriculture has been deafening. No-one seems to be able to provide an answer and still the farmers are left without compensation, while having to pay for electricity they should be generating themselves.”

This gives renewable energy a bad name which it does not deserve. The problem here is that farmers are willing to embrace the advantages of renewable energy, but the Department used imported turbines of an inferior standard from China. They should have used European, high-quality systems, such as ‘Proven’ which is made in Scotland and is suitable for the Irish environment.”

Cllr Enright said, “This turbine was built on a perfect site near the shore and this family have been leaders in innovative practices through the years. I have called on the Rural Development Programme to remedy this development and implement this scheme properly.

“Locally produced renewable energy offers the potential to increase business competitiveness and stimulate diversification in rural communities and I hope they will continue to embrace renewable energy” he concluded.

Press Cuttings: Why turbines from China bring ill wind, Department must answer questions about faulty turbines – Enright