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ODA criticised over turbine

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Architects have questioned the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) decision to abandon a 130m-tall wind turbine at the Olympic Park

Last week (AJ online 03.06.10) the ODA cited new safety legislation and a challenging delivery timetable, which led to ‘limited commercial interest’, as factors in its decision.

Ben Humphries of Architype said: ‘It seems ludicrous that this can’t be resolved in the next two years for “health and safety reasons”.

‘Given the serious environmental impact of the Olympics, we would like to see the ODA reconsider this decision,’ he added.

Meanwhile, UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said: ‘It’s a shame the wind turbine wasn’t successful, because a huge amount of effort went into trying to get it off the ground.

‘It would have been a great example of introducing large-scale wind turbines into an urban environment.’

He added: ‘[ODA’s decision] demonstrates further work is needed in developing wind turbines to meet stringent health and safety issues and deliver commercially viable results.’

The turbine would have contributed towards the ODA’s target to deliver 20 per cent of the Olympic Park’s energy requirements in legacy – from 2014 onwards when the site is fully operational – from renewable sources.

The ODA said it remains committed to its sustainability targets and is considering installing photovoltaic panels and a biomass gasification unit at the site.

Hackney Council has reaffirmed its desire to install a near-identical wind turbine at East Marsh, Hackney Marshes – a proposal also originally floated by the ODA.


Previous story (03.06.10)

ODA drops 130m-tall Olympic wind turbine

The ODA has scrapped plans to build a 130-metre tall wind turbine at Eton Manor on the London 2012 Olympic park

Intended to signpost the ‘northern gateway’ to the games, the structure was abandoned because preferred bidder Ecotricity failed to procure a ‘workable design’ on time.  

A spokesperson for ODA said: ‘[Ecotricity’s] turbine supplier was unable to comply with new health and safety legislation.’

Following the failure ODA opened the project to other private investors but no offers were forthcoming.

An ODA statement read: ‘[Industry] feedback was that the new requirements that apply to this particular turbine design and the challenging delivery timetable mean the project would not be appropriate at the Olympic Park location.

‘This resulted in limited commercial interest in the project and led to the ODA’s decision that it is no longer feasible for the turbine to move ahead.’

The landmark structure would have been privately funded with minimal cost to the ODA which is currently faced with a £27 million cut to its budget.

Official games energy supplier, EDF, in January backed out of a £2 million deal to cover start-up costs for the turbine.

Hackney Council is sticking to its plan to build a near-identical wind turbine at East Marsh, Hackney Marshes. The proposal was originally floated by ODA.

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