Business Irish

Saturday 23 September 2017

SSE forced to fix defects in wind turbine foundations

SSE says it regularly reviews its wind farms (stock image)
SSE says it regularly reviews its wind farms (stock image)
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Energy company SSE has discovered problems with the concrete foundations of as many as 50 wind turbines in Ireland, according to a report.

Planning documents filed in Northern Ireland reveal that remedial work needs to be carried out at an SSE wind farm in Tyrone to improve safety and stop further deterioration.

"Regular site inspections have identified defects in the concrete that forms the foundations on all turbine bases," the documents filed with Fermanagh and Omagh district council state.

"While there is no risk of foundation failure on any of the bases, to prevent further degradation of the bases, repair work is needed to improve safety to make sure that the turbines themselves continue to perform," the documents read.

Renewables trade publication reNews, which reported the problems this week, said issues had also been found at wind farms in Cork and Cavan.

"As a responsible energy generator and provider, SSE consistently reviews its portfolio of wind farms across the island of Ireland.

"We are currently considering potential enhancement works at some of our wind farm sites as part of our ongoing analysis. All turbines at these sites continue to operate as normal," an SSE spokesman said in response to a query from the Sunday Independent.

Scottish-based SSE bought Airtricity, the Irish business founded by Mainstream Renewable Power boss Eddie O'Connor, for €1.45bn in 2008 to form SSE Airtricity.

According to its website, the company has more than 450 megawatts of renewable energy projects in operation in Ireland, with 76 megawatts in construction and planning permission for almost 1,400 more.

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