By Ciarán Ryan, 2004
Suffolk’s first commercial wind turbine has been built on Ness Point in Lowestoft. It’s the tallest in the UK.
Russell Harper, from SLP Energy, the company who have developed the Ness Point wind turbine, was watching its construction:
”There are ladders that go up to the nacelle unit [the housing for the generator, gearbox and electrical control equipment]. Eighty metres up, quite a climb,” he said.
“There are two or three technicians up in the nacelle unit at the moment, giving instructions to the crane driver so that he can carefully manoeuvre the rotor blades into position.
”The rotor blades are secured in position in a similar way to the tower sections. Around the circumference of the housing there are hundreds of stud bolts – they locate into a flange [protruding edge]. Shortly, when that is in position you’ll hear the air guns tightening the nuts…”
Earlier last week the specialist transportation vessel, the A2Sea MS Ocean Ady, docked in Lowestoft’s port to unload the components of the Vestas2 NM923 wind turbine.
Construction began on Tuesday 7th of December 2004. After the lifting and assembly of the 80m tower, nacelle and rotor blades, it was completed at 18:00 on Friday 10th of December.
Throughout Friday, people gathered to observe the construction process on industrial land at Ness Point. In the evening a small crowd formed at Britain’s most easterly point to watch the blades being lifted into place.
Local resident Steve Powley was watching the wind turbine being built.
”It’s not as huge as I was expecting,” said Steve. “I was expecting it to be much bigger, much more dominating on the landscape. I think it fits in well with the surroundings.”
Victoria Cockrell, a technical assistant with Waveney district council, was also observing the building of the wind turbine.
”It’s not in a conservation area,” she said. “But it is an area of special interest. We’re quite interested to see the impact of it on the rest of the town.”
“A flawless operation”
Once the turbine’s blades were in place, Megan Arnold, a Business Development Manager, with SLP Energy, commented:
”It’s the largest wind turbine onshore in Britain, and the first commercial wind turbine for Suffolk,”
“It’s been a flawless operation, so far today. We’ve been very lucky. It hasn’t been very windy, which is what you want when you are installing a wind turbine… and after that you want it to blow like crazy!.”
Russell added: “It will start generating electricity within the next week or so, then they have to synchronise it with the [National] Grid connection.
”It will be January before it is commissioned and becomes fully operational.”
It’s estimated that the 126m (413 ft) high wind turbine will produce 2.75MW – enough electricity to meet the needs of 1500 – 1600 homes.
Have Your Say
Your name:Your comment:
The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.
i have loved gulliver ever since i first set eyes on him, but why has he not been working for the last three weeks? it really makes me angry, all this lovely wind being wasted!
Iagree with rae we should have many more turbines wish we had some here in weymouth and Portland we get really strong S W winds and most of the time to. Here`s to them.
Please explain why have you decided not to post my forward-looking description of how the suffolk wind generators fit into the overall sustainability plan for suffolk?
i dont feel that we are told enough about how much electricity the turbine actually produces.
I dont windturbines are the way forward for us. They will never provide enough electricity for the amount they cost. They look ugly and kill wildlife. They are also very unreliable, as there is not wind all the time. Nuclear power is the way forward before we can completely relie on Renewable energy.
i belive wind turbines are good because they create nenergy and over a few years they have made the amount of money made to create them also i belive they look nice and they in with the surrounds
Wind turbines should be used as part of the solution to reducing our carbon footprint. i don’t think we will ever be able to rely on them fully for all our power needs, what they can contribute to the grid is worth having in my opinion. Does anyone know how many wind turbines are to be built off the Norfolk coastline in this new wind farm spoken about today 5.6.08
i would like to say it look beautifull specailly in night time when it work the voice of this turbine
Oliver Bailey 15
Wind turbines are a short term solution for people who are groping in the dark. Nuclear is a much more economical idea that could easily power the whole of britain. Wind turbines look ugly and out of place, and i am not saying nuclear pplants don’t, but we need far fewer to supply us with our greed for electricity.
i live in lowestoft and i like the turbine not onlyis it a clean source of energy its also beacome a great lowestoft tourist attraction
It just agrovates me how, You go round and ask people they see it essential to cut carbon emmisions, stop the use of fossil fuels.. Yet when you offer them an alternative source of power they don’t want it…. Make your mind up People… personally I feel that Nucleat power is the way to go, People and politicians seem to be poorly educated into Nuclear power. They always look at the bad side of nucler the ‘When it Went Wrong’ moments etc…
I’m sorry to say that wind energy, while “green’, is desperately inefficient. They cost the taxpayer millions, contribute miniscule levels of energy, kill wildlife, distract drivers and affect the standard of living for some living nearby, causing ill health with the flickering and vibration. Oh, and the companies vying for contracts to build them are making an absolute killing. Apart from that, I think they’re marvellous.
Its interesting and great. It’s the largest wind turbine onshore in Britain.saving money and no pollution… We have a Sola. Wind is renewable energy but solar is more value. So, ago solar. My country have only 200MW (wind energy), But No solar energy. Waht a pity!
hi i love wind turbines i want one in my garden
I dont know what people are compaining about, if every house hold had a soler panel and a small wind turbine in the uk we wouldnt have such a bad carbon foot print, problems would be solved, the only issue people raise is that ”it looks ugly” and ”makes too much noise”. cars and other transport make noise too.i wrekon they look pretty kool and i also think its the way forward. The government should introduce a plan where by next summer for arguements sake every household is required to have a minimal amount of solar panal size on the roof, this way prices of solar pannels would come down, especially if the government is in control of this. We need more and more of these wind turbines in areas where noise wont disturb every day living at home, a slight humming whilst you are on the street is worth saving the world, here i am typing away on my carbon releasing computer, funny……
wind power is vry usefull as it does nt produce any pollution
im in school looking at wind turbies how BORING !!!!!!
i live in lowestoft and i can see the turbine from my house, i think its cool !!!!
it looks like you had alout of trouble doing this working day and night welldone i am in grade 6 and doing a progect on wind farm turbines.
you are saving money and no pollution
phil fox Lt
its always the same yes we want green power BUT not in my area. so what is the alternative ???? a project in the sw of cornwall wave power can supply about 10mw but for the company to connect into the grid the electric company wants 2,7million to me thats wrong.there are loads of projects that are viable but electric companies are making it hard for small green companies to join the grid if everyone went green with small windmills and solar power the electric companies would not welcome this neither would the oil companies
Wood fuel energy should be used to back up the wind turbines in the situations of wind failure, wood fuel is better too!
Why is it called Gulliver?
Great stuff, I like them and so do the kids lets have many thousands more
kathy, you are wrong, wind turbines are a nessactiy for the continuation of human life.if we dont get alot of them now,green house gases will effect us so much there will be np point in living
i dont like the wind turbine its ugly and disrupts the tv signals. Im doing a project about it at school though because its an important change and was built for the right reasons, they should have built it somewhere else though
I think it is so good that i am doing a project about it at school! i also think that there should be more all over the uk!!
I think there size and the footprint they consume, should be re-thought. Maybe a Nuclear Plant would be the best idea.
it is very good and it is good how you made it i enjoy it because i wath it out of my bedroom iwas so glad you made it thankyou
The wind turbine is great. I think there should be loads more and they should replace all other forms of energy.
I have a clear view of this turbine (Gulliver) from my house in the town centre and it looks awesome and would like to see many more on the same site. I think wind turbines are beautiful and this one is a definite asset to Lowestoft 🙂
Thanks a lot for your great pics! I used them for the finishing touches to my project on wind power.
Dear Readers, please please do not take Mr Brownlow’s comments seriously. If you visit http://www.bwea.org/energy/myths.html you will find out the real facts behind wind energy… not some throwaway comment by politicians or ill-informed so-called “scientists” 🙂 Hey… btw Mr Brownlow…. you don’t work for Esso do you ? 😉 PS “Gulliver” is great !
I think wind turbines and wind farms are a brilliant idea and in Ireland there are over 40
I think it looks great. Every community which uses electricity should consider where to locate its own source of renewable energy.
My ‘ill-informed comments’ [see below] are supported by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change; the Government’s own Council for Science and Technology (CST); Hugh Sharman, Incoteco (Denmark) ApS – (see his recent paper in Civil Engineering journal); EON.Netz (they own Powergen)operating the largest wind power supply system in the world; Denmark’s grid operators; etc. etc. Please attempt a reasoned argument rather than resorting to insults.
Another goverment give away at the tax payers expence. Plus the health and welfare of the locals. I would bet who ever brought this to your area receive alot of money. List who receive contributions who are elected officals shold tell it all. Plus what about the birds??
you have no technical info: who made the blades? what materials? How? Are there other big wind turbines going up? where?… what about the one in Reading?
I was so irritated to see Don Brownlows ill informed comments repeating the mantra of Country Guardian – that anti turbine group. if I want to understand how the grid works and how controlable generators (so called backup)fit into the system, then I would ask an expert from National Grid not an anti wind group. Wind generating actually matches demand quite well. When its windy its cold and people go in doors and put the kettle on. Don is talking out of his backside.
Cllr. David White, Gillingham, Dorset
I wish our quiet majority of pro wind would speak as elequently and loudly as yours have!
I think the wind turbine is a great asset to the regions publicity, this will really put Lowestoft on themap and hopefully make one of the largest wind farms in Europe.
The small, intermittent and unreliable supply from wind power can at present be covered by the safety margin of generating capacity provided by coal, gas and nuclear plants. Ironically, the more wind turbines that are built, the more this ‘clean, economic and renewable’ energy will destabilise the supply system. Electricity cannot be stored, so if wind generation becomes a significant factor (i.e. if many thousands more 400-500 ft. turbines are built) they will increasingly need to be backed up by conventional coal, gas and nuclear power stations running on standby because wind power production is inherently unstable and difficult to forecast. Wind power also generates least electricity at times of highest demand – during periods of extreme heat and cold experienced during settled high pressure weather systems (ironically, increasing in frequency with global warming).
All that clean energy AND it’s beautiful – Well done Lowestoft
Excellent – lets have many more – at least one for every community…much as it was a few hundred years ago. I’d definitely have one in my garden !
Looks good, we need more and I think they look good. Working on a regular basis in Holland where they cover the land scape I can’t see why we don’t follow suit especially along motorways.
Having not visited Lowestoft for some time it was a surprise to see such a large structure in the middle of town – but it fits! Quite beautiful to the eye and even when standing directly underneath it in a very brisk breeze – so quiet. I also saw the Scroby Sands windfarm on this trip and heartily approve – again it’s startlingly beautiful. I suspect that many detractors of windfarms might never have witnessed them first hand. There may indeed be some environmental problems to overcome, but discount the ‘visual-pollution’ objections please.
The people of Lowestoft should welcome this turbine with open arms,and it looks better than Sizewell.I know what I prefer………
How much bigger do u want it it massive
Hetaher louise cox
just to say, the wind turbine looks lovely, really beautiful and makes a brilliant town, lowestoft even better…..
it cool and it’s sometimes slow i want it to go fast
I hadn’t been to Lowestoft for over five years before this weekend and I was surprised and pleased to see this wonderful wind turbine. However, I think that one turbine on its own is a landmark, but a whole wind farm would not look so pleasing.
i think it’s a really good idea and if u get close 2 it it’s MASSIVE !!
Lowestoft is in WAVENEY not Waverley
It has a graceful movement, slow turning blades. When you get close to the structure, it overpowers you. Its size, its dominant , slow movement. Its amazing. If you want to be over-awed, visit for yourself. You will know what i mean when you get close and see it in motion. Paul Wilson, London
why does it only have three blades and not four like a traditional windmill?
I woke up the other day, looked out of my window, and there was this huge windmill standing there. Although I fully support the use of alternative energy………..its a bit big and dominates the skyline somewhat.
Fabulous. The most constructiuve, forweard-thinking and elegant thing to happen to Lowestoft for decades.