The importance of assessing the full impact of installing a wind turbine on your site before announcing plans to do so was hammered home to London's Olympic Delivery Agency (ODA) last week after it was forced to admit it may have to turn the turbine off during the games to avoid distracting the athletes.
Speaking at the unveiling of plans for the 120 metre tall turbine late last year, ODA chief executive David Higgins said the turbine would serve as a "green beacon for the capital" and provide "a symbol of the sustainability principles behind the Games".
But according to reports from New Civil Engineer magazine, embarrassed organisers have now had to admit that the £2m turbine may have to be turned off during events because the turbine will cause light to flicker, potentially distracting the athletes.
Simon Wright, infrastructure director at the ODA, told the magazine that it was looking at ways of minimising the effect, but may have to turn off the turbine at certain times.
The move is likely to be seized on by critics of the games as another example of poor planning from the ODA and it also provides a salutary lesson on the importance of carrying out full impact assessments before publicly unveiling plans for wind turbines.
However, the ODA is standing by the plans, claiming the turbine will produce enough energy for 1,200 homes a year over its 20 year lifespan and will only be turned off for short periods if at all.
It also claimed that while the turbine is a symbol of the games green credentials its environmental efforts go far deeper and the bulk of the energy required for the site will be generated using a combined cooling and heating plant in the south of the park.
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