Fife Fire Brigade have been at the Little Raith Wind Farm site on a training exercise, which according to Jonny Kennedy, the Asset Manager at Little Raith Wind Farm, will be a quarterly occurrence to comply with General Electrics company Health & Safety procedures, and to help the local fire brigade become familair with the equipment on the site.
What is of concern is that within the Little Raith area is the NGL Pipeline for the Mossmorran Petrochemical Plant. As a top tier COMAH site, HAZMAT site and part of the site identified as a Buncefield type site, the area can be potentially volatile.
The highly flammable nature of the plant and specifically the NGL Pipeline, is highlighted by warning signs located in the Little Raith Wind Farm warning that there should be no naked flames in the area.
Raising concern over the safety of the NGL Pipeline to Kennedy Renewables, Jonny Kennedy responded;
During site inductions carried out by KR’s asset Managers (Natural Power) it is highlighted that there is to be no ‘HOT WORK’ anywhere on site, plus, any work associated with ‘BREAKING GROUND’ in the vicinity of the underground utility services are to be over seen by the companies in question. Natural Power manage ALL associated work on site so we can manage any works in a safe manner to comply with Health and Safety regulations/guidelines. Natural Power compile an Emergency Response Plan specific to Little Raith Wind Farm, within the ERP we cover every emergency that could possibly happen on site, this includes ‘Turbine Fires’( with or without personnel ), when an emergency is highlighted to our 24hr Control Centre they then initiate the ERP, the Fire Service is called stating all relevant information that they require to help them upon arrival to site, this is why GE (Turbine Maintainers) carry out emergency exercises, it gives everybody involved familiarity of the equipment on site.
This is of limited reassurance regarding the safety of the pipeline as Turbine fires in modern industrial turbines, when happening in the nacelle, are currently too high to reach by the local fire brigade. Nacelle turbine fires are usually left to burn themselves out, with Fire Brigade personnel, only able to try and contain fires from spreading on the ground.
With ongoing safety concerns of the Mossmorran Petrochemical plant, we now have an industrial wind farm, with it’s own range of technical shortcomings & failings, built in a highly sensitive area, which has the potential to create a higher health & safety risk for the Mossmorran plant beyond normal operations.
Meanwhile, we have been notified that Kennedy Renewables has been making initial enquiries for the wind farm to be extended, with the local communities been given limited reassurance from a councillor that any proposal would be rejected as the landscape could not accommodate further turbines, beyond the constructed turbines at Little Raith (9), and approved turbines at Clentrie (3), Goathill Quarry (1) and Mossmorran (2), with more applications currently pending in the application system.