Blowing in the Keadby wind
OREANDA-NEWS. Sam Cunningham, site supervisor Keadby Wind Farm
It was a real boost for everyone at Keadby to have our official opening with Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey last Thursday.Of course the site has been up and running for a few months but with the community groups there it was a nice milestone for all involved in the project.
It seemed obvious that Mr Davey is a genuine enthusiast for wind energy and he was even keen to venture inside a tower.
Luckily the weather played its part too in that the early rain disappeared and yes, we had plenty of wind so the farm was operating at maximum capacity.
A number of people who came to the event were interested in how you actually ‘run’ a windfarm. Well we’ve had five people based here full time, including me. It’s our job to look after 34 turbines.
Being a new windfarm, we haven’t had too many problems – all our turbine activity is monitored 24 hours a day by the manufacturer Vestas, who are based in Denmark.
If there is fault they will inform SSE of the issue and a work pack will be created to allow the Vestas team to work within the turbine safely whilst ensuring the turbine is returned to full production as quickly as possible. This can mean climbing 80ft to the top of a turbine so a head for heights helps – though we are always properly harnessed up of course.
We have recently seen all of our turbines undergo their first annual service; this helps to make sure the wind farm is available 365 days of the year.
When I’m out and about on the site I quite often meet members of the public – it could be dog walkers, cyclists or runners.
I always take the time to say hello to people and answer any questions they might have about the site or the turbines when I am on site. The feedback has been very positive.
A lot of work has also been done environmentally and I do see a number of animals and birds on site. We have dug two ponds in the north and south of the site, these have been planted with grasses and wildflowers to attract birds, insects and water voles, whilst hedges have also been put in alongside bird and bat boxes.
Right now we are seeing at lot of deer at the site and our bird boxes do seem to be a popular lookout spots for marsh harriers and buzzards.
I’ve learnt a lot about turbines since I’ve been here and the team here has been like a second family to me.