Friday, 26 August 2011

Size matters

Just how big are the large turbines that the landscape in South West Scotland is beginning to sprout on an all too regular a basis? In an effort to try and answer that question, I have created a graphic showing the relative sizes of the wind turbines from the following (operational and proposed) wind farms:

  • Kilgallioch wind farm - 480 ft (146.5 m)
  • Assel Valley wind farm - 415 ft (126 m)
  • Hadyard Hill & Mark Hill wind farms - 360 ft (110 m)
  • Tralorg Hill wind farm - 328 ft (100 m)

To try and help add some scale, I have also added the relative heights of the following landmarks:


The final image is shown immediately below (with elevations in metres):


A version with imperial dimensions is here:


The proposed turbine elevations for the Breaker Hill wind farm and the Straid Farm wind farm at 326 ft (or 99 m) are just 2 feet below those of the Tralorg Hill wind farm level (at 328 ft or 100m) and have only been omitted to prevent the overall image from becoming too cluttered. I have included a representative image for the Girvan Community Hospital so that there is a readily identifiable reference for those familiar with South Carrick.

Remembering that Hadyard Hill wind farm and Mark Hill wind farm are both operational sites, we have a real basis with which to compare the relative sizes of all of these developments. For example, the turbines proposed for Tralorg Hill wind farm (just a stone's throw from Girvan) aren't a lot shorter than those already installed and operating at Hadyard Hill wind farm, whilst those proposed for Assel Valley wind farm are taller than the those at Hadyard Hill, and very nearly as tall as than Science Centre Tower in Glasgow. Kilgallioch's proposed turbines dwarf all of the benchmark landmark sites and turbines shown.

I accept that the blade length to tower height proportion may not be correct (since this will vary by turbine model) and have therefore not included a horizontal scale to show blade diameters. However, the overall effect is clear. I could go on comparing relative elevations but in the interests of brevity, I'll say no more and let you draw your own conclusions.