BT Tower to become wind turbine in net zero drive
Some of Britain’s tallest buildings, including the BT Tower, are to be converted into wind turbines to help Britain reach net zero under radical plans secretly approved by the Government.
Ministers are so determined to make the country carbon neutral by 2050 that they intend to requisition landmarks and fix propellers onto them to provide “green” electricity.
Earlier this week Rishi Sunak unveiled the Government’s green energy plan, which included an overhaul of planning rules to speed up the building of new wind turbines.
Among the landmarks that are being sized up for wind turbines are Blackpool Tower, the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, the Radio City Tower in Liverpool, the Angel of the North near Newcastle and the Emley Moor Mast in Huddersfield.
Plans for the conversion of the BT Tower into Britain’s biggest wind turbine, seen by The Telegraph, have already been submitted to Mayfair & Fitzrovia Council.
They propose fixing a three-bladed propellor to the 620ft tower, using its famous revolving restaurant as a means of turning the turbine into whichever direction the wind is coming from.
The Treasury is understood to be “hugely supportive” of the scheme, because ministers believe it can be achieved cheaply and will help bring down the cost of electricity in the capital, helping to solve the cost of living crisis and contributing towards the drive for energy security.
A contract for the work has already been awarded to French firm AF engineering, with construction expected to start a year from today.
The company’s chief executive, Olaf Pirlo, said: “Simple ideas are often the best, and repurposing existing buildings by turning them into giant windmills is much more cost effective than having to build a new turbine from scratch.
“The BT Tower is a good place to start because it’s basically the same shape as a wind turbine, but without the propellers. So we just need to stick some on the side of it.
“Other structures will be more challenging. For example the Blackpool Tower has sloping sides, so we will probably put a horizontal propeller on the top, like a helicopter. Hopefully it won’t take off when there is a strong wind!
“We are confident we can start work on the BT Tower Turbine by April 1 next year.”
The council is braced for strong opposition, however, as the BT Tower, formerly known as the Post Office Tower, is a Grade II listed building and is one of London’s most famous landmarks.
Completed in 1964, it was the tallest structure in London until 1980, when it was overtaken by the NatWest Tower.
The revolving restaurant was closed in 1980, and has not reopened since. In its heyday the restaurant would revolve once every 23 minutes, which engineers say would be quick enough to re-orientate a turbine fixed to the side of it so that it could respond to changing wind direction.
This is an April Fool's Day story