Doubts about the Olympic Park wind turbine have come to a head as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has announced the turbine is no longer feasible and will be abandoned.
The ODA cited new safety legislation and a challenging delivery timetable, which led to “limited commercial interest”, as factors in its decision.
“The preferred bidder’s turbine supplier for the project felt unable to comply with these new regulations before the Games and withdrew from the project,” said the ODA.
The decision comes after years of uncertainty over the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed turbine.
Earlier this year the ODA denied that energy company EDF had pulled out of bidding because there was not enough wind on site to produce sufficient energy (NCE 10 February 2010).
In 2007 ODA infrastructure director Simon Wright said it was feared that the turbine would cause light flickering which could distract athletes during the Olympic Games (NCE 29 March 2007).
The wind turbine was proposed for Eton Manor at the north of the site. The turbine would have contributed towards the ODA’s target to deliver 20% of the Olympic Park’s energy requirements in legacy − from 2014 onwards when the site is fully operational − from renewable sources.
ODA chief executive David Higgins said: “We have carried out an exhaustive process with the industry and suppliers over the last two years to find a viable way of delivering a wind turbine on the Olympic Park site. However, the industry environment has changed and that means the project is no longer feasible.”
The ODA said it remains committed to its sustainability targets and it will now seek to contribute to its renewables targets with a new Energy Centre on the Olympic Park.
Possible options under consideration for inclusion here are photovoltaic panels and a biomass gasification unit.