Stormy weather holds up progress bur engineers say wind farm could be operational by the end of summer

The first of nine new wind turbines has been installed at the Batsworthy Cross Wind Farm near South Molton.

Engineers at the site, alongside the A361 North Devon Link Road at Knowstone, said the recent storms had hampered progress.

But they remain optimistic that the RWE Innogy UK scheme will be operational by the end of the summer.

Senior project manager Michael Williams said: “Following all the hard work preparing the site last year, we have now reached the exciting part.

“Our wind farms are designed to best capture the power of the wind but we now need calm weather to safely lift the turbine components.

“Our first deliveries arrived during the third week of January with turbine erection commencing on January 25.

“Unfortunately storms Frank, Gertrude, Henry and Imogen have all swept through and really hampered progress – it has taken two and a half weeks to erect the first turbine.

“This can take as little as two or three days in favourable weather. Fingers crossed that storm Jake doesn’t make an appearance until May.”

Mr Williams said that wind turbine components are being stored at Bristol Docks and deliveries would be made outside of rush hour periods.

“Deliveries are made via the A361, typically between the hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm,” he said.

“The vehicles maintain a reasonable speed along the A361 so there is minimal delay.

“Closer to site, the vehicles need to delicately manoeuvre around the corners near the Log Cabin Diner to access the site tracks.

“Escort vehicles may hold traffic at strategic points to ensure everybody’s safety – please observe their instructions for the very short period you may be held.”

Elsewhere on site, electrical infrastructure work is nearing completion and the grid connection is expected go live within a couple of weeks.

The project has been more than 10 years in the making but when complete, will supply electricity to up to 8,900 homes.

“Once all the turbines are up, we can then start commissioning and testing the turbines before we start exporting clean electricity to the network,” added Mr Williams.