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Lowestoft landmark Gulliver stops working

PUBLISHED: 13:02 13 May 2011

Gulliver, the wind turbine at Ness Point in Lowestoft.

Gulliver, the wind turbine at Ness Point in Lowestoft.

Archant © 2006

IT is one of Lowestoft's most familiar and best-loved landmarks.

But Gulliver the wind turbine has ground to a standstill – again.

The turbine at Ness Point has remained motionless this week as engineers await a new spare part.

Gulliver’s owners Triodos Renewables told the Journal yesterday that a new part for the “hydraulic tightening tool” has been ordered from the turbine’s manufacturers Vestas. Engineers are due to vist the site today to start work and the turbine should be up and running again in the near future.

The 125m turbine has been operational since January 2005 and generates enough power to supply more than 1,500 homes. It can produce 2.75MW of electricity – saving the equivalent of more than 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

However, it is not the first time the towering structure has stopped working.

During the summer of 2006 Gulliver’s blades stopped turning for three weeks because of a cabling communication problem. In late 2007 and early 2008, it stopped working for at least four months due to a damaged blade.

Gulliver was built by Lowestoft-based SLP Engineering in 2004 and it was then bought by Triodos Renewables.

When it was built, it was the largest wind turbine of its kind in Britain and was first commercial wind turbine in Suffolk. It was named Gulliver by a Journal reader after a competition.

A spokesman for Triodos said yesterday: “The part we are waiting for is not actually for Gulliver itself, but for a hydraulic tightening tool needed to complete a routine service.

“It is a very specialist bit of kit and needs to be sourced by Vestas, the wind turbine’s manufacturer. Engineers are due on site tomorrow, and we expect Gulliver to be up and running again shortly.”

In June, two similar sized turbines owned by Triodos are due to start operating at Kessingland.

One of them is on the Africa Alive site and the other is on land next to the A12.

The turbines have prompted lively debate in the village and neighbouring Gisleham, with critics describing them as a costly eyesore and others as a welcome addition to the north Suffolk landscape.

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