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Olympic Park turbine was not in doubt, says ODA

Reports that energy company EDF chose not to bid for the Olympic Park wind turbine due to a lack of wind on site have been denied.

EDF and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) told NCE that EDF did in fact submit a tender, but the contract was eventually awarded to British firm Ecotricity.

“The contract for the Eton Manor turbine was put out to open tender in 2008,” said an ODA spokesperson. “A number of competitive tenders were received including a tender from EDF.”

It was previously reported in the London Evening Standard that EDF had said it would not be able to sell enough energy from the turbine to justify its £2M start-up costs.

The company was said to have proposed that the turbine be built at the Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth instead.

“It’s definitely a viable scheme for us. There is enough wind for it to make a contribution.”

ODA spokesman

The ODA spokesman denied there was insufficient wind at the Olympic Park. “It’s definitely a viable scheme for us,” he said. “We have obviously done modelling for the turbine to make sure it’ll work. There is enough wind for it to make a contribution.”

However, the ODA confirmed that an alternative turbine at Weymouth was proposed. “During the procurement of the Olympic Park wind turbine contract, the suggestion of a wind turbine in Weymouth was put forward by one of the bidders,” said a spokesman.

“However, our turbine plans are focussed on the Olympic Park renewable energy targets so this suggestion was not taken forward any further.”

The turbine will be key in delivering renewable energy to the Olympic Park site, and is expected to account for more than half of the 20% renewable energy target for the Olympic Park in legacy.

EDF’s status as official energy utilities partner withthe London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) does not grant it an automatic right to contracts let by the ODA on the Olympic Park site.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Despite all these assurances the cynical side of me can't help thinking that there's an element of face-saving going on here.

    What is the real motivation behind sticking up wind turbines at every possible opportunity on the side of high profile projects with questionable benefits?

    It makes me wonder sometimes if we are in danger of walking into a politically motivated, energy-utopia fantasy world where the evils of the climate change denying ogres can only be warded off by building these huge, expensive, but more importantly, very publicly visible, monuments to the gods of carbon reduction.

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  • you're absolutely right Andy, EDF are just saving face, having launched that absurd Green Britain campaign, featuring Ecotricity's Green Union Jack, and for it to have failed so dismally, this Olympic news must just rub salt into their wounds. You can understand why they'd want to try to rubbish this story with a spoiler in the Standard - sour grapes from a French Nuclear co masquerading as green. C'est la vie.

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  • Is it possible that Mr. Hatton was referring to the ODA saving face by putting up a turbine in a place where it will deliver a neglible amount of electricity?

    The Weymouth site may have generated more electricity, hence EDF's interest, but wasn't in the ideal location 'politically' ie close enough to the Olympics to be seen by thousands of visitors.

    Turbines only look majestic and brilliant if they are turning. They could always hook it up to the mains and see if it can work as a giant fan instead.

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