Its taken me some time to find it, but I recalled an article that a friend who moved up to the Shetlands mailed to me some years ago, in relation to a Proven turbine having bits blown off it at a school up there. I cant find a direct link to it on the web, so I will cut and paste it below from the e-mail I got, which apparantly was taken from the newspaper article. I have found a reference about it on a Shetland Islands Council report though...
which confirms that the event did happen, and that it was a Proven turbine.
Speaking with my friend in the Shetlands at the weekend, I understand that all Proven turbines (irrespective of size) on council owned property up there have either been left stopped since the event, or have been taken down. I have not managed to find my "back copies" of the newspaper from the Orkneys yet - I suspect my wife has used them to dry my boots out with!
Anyway, heres the text of what was written in the Shetland Times on 27/2/04. Does make you wonder how robust these Proven turbine are! I am interested to hear how yours survives Peter, as it will help us decide when we finally get moved up there!
Urafirth aerogenerator damaged by high winds
A WIND generator in a school playground was badly damaged over the weekend - by the wind.
The machine, unfenced at Urafirth Primary School, had part of its cowling torn off between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The cowling was left flapping loose and is thought to have damaged the blades.
Head of the council's education service Alex Jamieson said the generator will not be restarted until a full health and safety audit is carried out. "We decided that it would be prudent to have a look at all the safety issues surrounding the generators and to make sure that they are fit for purpose. The one in Urafirth was damaged in recent gales and I have asked the safety and risk department of the SIC to handle a full health and safety audit and they have assured me that they will do so." He said that it would be carried out "right away".
Mr Jamieson's decision was made following a letter from the chairwoman of Urafirth school board, Susan Bowie. She said she was delighted that he had taken such prompt action but parents still had concerns. "If a blade was to fall a child could be decapitated. Parents have no problems with wind power per se, just with where this particular generator is sited. Children should not have to worry about going to school - the safety of the children should be paramount.
"Parents had expressed concerns about the Shetland Aerogenerators machine, the only one of its design to be erected in Shetland, and had already asked for a meeting to discuss children's safety.
It is understood that planning permission was not sought for the council-owned machine as nothing costing less than £100,000 which is erected on council land needs such consent.
It is not clear whether or not a formal wind audit or health and safety survey has been carried out on the positioning of the unprotected machine next to a playpark which is open 24 hours a day, and to the school itself.
Dr Bowie said: "There seems to be some kind of loophole in the planning permission process. You could put up a nuclear reactor in a school playground if it costs less than £100,000. Shetland is not pressurised for land and in fact the person who owns a more suitable plot of land next to the school is on the school board and would have had no problem with putting the generator in the field there.
"She said that parents got a huge surprise when the generator went up because it was so big and is in a corner of the playground which means the children can touch it. There should be an exclusion zone around it, but the zone would extend into the nursery and part of the playing field and they were told that because the Urafirth generator was of such a high specification it did not need one.
She said she has been assured that the children will be kept inside until it has been made safe.
Urafirth head teacher John Posnett said: " I have no comment to make at the mopment, we are working hard to make sure that things are safe and obviously safety is our primary concern, but I have no comment to make at present.
"Two other schools, Skeld and Vidlin, have similar generators.
© The Shetland Times Ltd.