Wind Turbine Near Leighton Buzzard

You may love them, loathe them or be ambivalent but for the next few decades, at least, wind turbines will be a feature of this green and pleasant land. Recently a 2.3 megawatt was erected in Double Arches Quarry near Leighton Buzzard. The following photographs were taken over a three day period and show the final stages of assembling the turbine.

This structure has been described as the ‘biggest wind turbine in the UK’ and has  ‘tip height’  ( the distance from the ground to the top of the blades) of 149 metres (489 feet)

Click on the pictures to see larger versions

 Turbine tower in the landscape

Turbine tower in the landscape

On the skyline on the left side is the tiny village of Potsgrove. Moving right is the tower of the turbine and the large crane. Beyond the trees the A5 can be made out. Then come some large piles of sand and the white painted screening plant for Sibelco and finally Aggregate Industries plant in Eastern Way.

tall crane lifting turbine blade

Manoeuvring a turbine blade

 Two cranes are manoeuvring one of the turbine blades.
(Image from phone camera)

Turbine blades and nacelle assembly

Turbine blades and nacelle assembly

Tower and massive crane

Tower and massive crane

Nacelle & blades assembly in place

Nacelle & blades assembly in place

Blades and nacelle - note the guy lines on the tips of the blades

Blades and nacelle – note the guy lines on the tips of the blades

Close-up of the nacelle

Close-up of the nacelle

A little over two miles away is the West Coast Main Line railway. Every few minutes a Pendolino high speed train rushes past on the way to London, Birmingham, Manchester, etc. The nine car trains have a power output of 5.1 megawatts and the eleven car sets almost 6 megawatts. So taking into account the losses (both in power transmission and on-board), train heating, ventilation, cooling and lighting then to run each train set at full power requires the equivalent of three wind  turbines.

Realistically the trains don’t run at full power all the time and with their regenerative braking system actually do put some power back into the grid. But it does illustrate that using so called renewable energy is not an easy option. To generate enough electricity run the all the electrified railways in the UK  would require several  thousand wind turbines.




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