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IT'S TOO WINDY FOR WINDFARM; Bosses admit gales are 'too much.

Byline: By Jack Mathieson

BRITAIN'S windfarms will grind to a halt if it gets . . . too windy.

Power bosses admitted yesterday that turbines will stop turning if gales hit 60mph.

ScottishPower came clean after claims that Britain's biggest wind farm, in South Lanarkshire, had come to a standstill yesterday.

Workers at the Black Law site in Forth were said to be bemused after strong gusts forced the closure of all 62 turbines.

A man, claiming to be an operator, called a BBC Radio 2 talk show to voice his disbelief.

A source at the farm said: "Call me old fashioned but I thought the whole point of wind turbines is that they work best in windy conditions.

"A lot of power could be generated on a windy day like today but the place has come to a standstill.

"Next they'll be telling us that it's the wrong kind of wind."

But a ScottishPower spokesman insisted there had been no wind-enforced shutdown yesterday.

He said: "One of two of them are not turning because of maintenance, but the rest are spinning fine."

The spokesman suggested a hoax caller opposed to wind farms may have made the call to the BBC.

He said: "A lot of people are against windfarms, so read into that what you will.

"Or perhaps someone driving along noticed that one or two of the turbines were not working and has mistakenly got in touch with the radio show."

However, he confirmed the turbines, which stand 300ft high, do stop operating in high winds.

He admitted: "If the wind goes over 60mph for a sustained period then they automatically shut down to prevent damage to the turbines - it's a protective mechanism.

"In extreme high winds the best thing is for them to stop operating, so the mechanism won't get damaged.'

But he said this only happened in severe gales - Force 10 on the Beaufort Scale.

The pounds 130million Black Law farm became the largest onshore windfarm in the UK when it began generating power in the spring of this year.

Owned by ScottishPower, it produces enough clean energy to power 80,000 homes.

Windfarms have emerged all over Europe during the last decade because of their ability to produce energy without harmful emissions.

But critics say they are eyesores and cause damage to the environment

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SHUTDOWN: The 300ft turbines
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 29, 2005
Words:392
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