A WIND turbine at a Northumberland hospital has finally been taken down.
The engine at Wansbeck General Hospital at Ashington was removed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The turbine had been erected in 1992 and was intended to produce one tenth of the energy consumed by the hospital.
It initially produced an average of 140,000 kilowatts of electricity per year, approximately 18% of the electricity consumed by the hospital.
However, in 2009, it emerged the turbine had produced no electricity since 2007. The engine had developed a fault in the tip of one of its blades. It was repaired, but the fault re-appeared later and the turbine was switched off.
Critics of wind power said at the time that the problems came as no surprise, claiming the engines were unreliable as an electricity source.
The trust commissioned an external report to look into repairing and re-commissioning the structure but it was decided last September that the engine should be taken down.
Brian Griggs, the trust’s director of estates and facilities, last night said: “The cost of repairing the wind turbine at Wansbeck General Hospital was prohibitive and our only option was to have it taken down.
“However, we remain committed to a sustainable future and to reducing our carbon emissions for both environmental and cost efficiency reasons.”