Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / Assurances wanted

“The developer of the Viking Energy wind farm has given categorical assurances that Shetland’s drinking water will not be affected by microplastics that might be shed from turbines.”

Microplastics not an issue, Viking insists

Aaron Priest is to be congratulated for the speed at which he has jumped to the defence of the Viking Energy project – after all, that is his job.

He does this by attempting to discredit the Norwegian report on the shedding of dangerous microplastics by the turbines.

Unfortunately for him, the Norwegian report is well referenced and was partly based on figures from a report commissioned by the wind industry from Strathclyde University which indicates that each turbine is capable of shedding 150 grams of highly dangerous microplastics containing Bisphenol A (BPA).

One of the references in the Norwegian report is from The National Center for Biotechnology Information.

It states: “Rain erosion protection coatings have been proposed, tested and validated with particular industrial solutions, but the proposed solutions are still not as reliable as the wind energy industry requires.”

This report is dated 2017. Are we seriously to believe they have found a completely reliable solution by now?

All the industry reports (and there are many) are focused on the loss of efficiency and profits associated with erosion of the blades.

Of far more concern to the public is the danger to health and the environment caused by the release of BPA.

The Norwegian report quotes the World Health Organisation advice that drinking water should have a maximum of 0.1 micrograms of BPA per litre. This means no more than one gram per 10 million litres of water.

Aaron Priest says microplastics “might be shed by turbines”.

Can he assure us that, even standing still exposed to Shetland weather, each turbine will not shed more than one gram of microplastic per year, potentially polluting 10 million litres of water, whether or not it is our drinking water?

The Norwegian report is devastating to the whole wind industry and his bland assurances do little to protect it.

Stuart Hill