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Dimbleby Brothers Have Problems With Their Eco-Friendly Power Installations

Nicholas Dimbleby and his brother Jonathan, the later being a TV and radio presenter, have had trouble with their green power installations. Jonathan has a wind turbine at his home and Nicholas solar panels at his property that are 40 miles apart.

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(image credit: gleneivey)

The solar panel system has cut out on a number of occasions and the wind turbine initially was not generating the expected electrical output.

It was three years ago that Jonathan’s 45ft wind turbine was put in despite objections from a number of his neighbours in Moreleigh, Devon. He was initially disappointed at the amount of electricity generated but the adverse weather that we have seen of late here in the UK has meant that the wind turbine is now performing better.

Unfortunately, Nicholas has been having problems with his solar panel installation as the meter has proved to be faulty as it did not maintain records of the level of electricity passed to the National Grid. He thinks that the problem may have cost him a minimum of £500.

Apparently, despite these hiccups, the brothers are still supportive of green energy.

Nicholas did suggest homeowners need to be careful when selecting their installation in particular if they live in outlying areas. He stated: ‘A great scheme operates in this country to help people establish alternative energy. People should be encouraged to use it. However, although I did plenty of research beforehand, I bought something that wasn’t fit for purpose.’

Fifteen months ago he had a £15,000 solar panel system put in his garden and had anticipated a return of £1,600 per annum on the investment. However, the system has stopped working on twelve occasions usually when the weather tends to be inclement. To find out if there has been a trip of the switch he needs to check two meters which is a bit inconvenient with one being located 70 metres from his home in an outbuilding and the other actually on the solar panel installation.

Nicholas added: ‘I’ve been told it happens because I am at the end of the line as far as the national grid is concerned.

‘How was I supposed to know that? It’s like living on top of a hill and being sold a car with an engine that’s too small to make the climb.’

The company that installed the solar panels, Rainbow Renewables, in Ilfracombe, North Devon said that appropriate checks were undertaken with Western Power to make sure that there was suitable voltage in the locality.

A Western Power spokesperson confirmed that there had been disruptions to Mr Dimbleby’s supply on three occasions in a day due to a system fault but that the problem had then been sorted out. Western Power claim the location of the solar panel installation is not the problem and is agreeable to providing a monitor to establish exactly what the issue is.

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