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Norfolk broadside


During the 1970's I researched wind turbines at an aerospace corporation in the US and my curiosity has led me to Swaffham in Norfolk to see if any progress had been made since.

The turbine there resembles a gigantic aircraft propeller.

Three enormous blades, mounted on a circular steel tube, rotate 22 times per minute when the wind is right.

In the first 26 months of operation, 7.5M KWh of energy were sold into the grid after 17,000 hours of operation. The nominal maximum power output is 1.5MW but, from the figures above, the average power was only 440kW, just about the power level that 400 Swaffham households would need to cook Sunday lunch.

From your stated selling price (NCE 25 October) I calculate that the revenue from Swaffham for the first 26 months would be £225,000 - or £103,673 a year.

This would not cover the wages for staff, spare parts or rental of the land let alone pay a dividend. The installation cost was quoted as £1.25M, which suggests the investment could never be recovered. Can greenness be justified at such a price?

TL Kendall, California registered geophysicist, Tanglewood, Kirstead Green, Norwich NR15 1EB

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