London's £2M Olympic Park wind turbine may have to be switched off during competitions at the 2012 Games to avoid distracting athletes, it was revealed this week.
Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) infrastructure director Simon Wright said it was feared that the turbine will cause light to flicker in a way that puts off competitors.Engineers within the Olympic masterplanning team are looking at ways of minimising the impact of this flicker-effect. But Wright said if all else failed, the turbine would simply be switched off during key events, although this would also be in the peak demand period.Efforts by consultant Buro Happold, part of the EDAW consortium on the masterplanning team, have focused on the positioning of the turbine and the angle at which it faces the venues. The 120m tall structure is planned for the north of the Park. It will comprise an 80m high turbine with three 40m long blades and will overlook the cycle park and hockey pitches. According to ODA estimates the turbine will produce energy equivalent to powering 1,200 homes every year.But it will supply only a small proportion of the power to keep the Olympic Park running in games mode, with the majority generated by a combined cooling and heating plant in the south of the park.