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