Sir John Armitt says ODA’s focus on wind turbine to provide electricity for Olympic park was a mistake

The Olympic Delivery Authority fell well short of its target to generate a fifth of electricity on-site through renewables due to a fixation on installing a wind turbine on site, the head of the body has admitted.

Sir John Armitt, Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chairman, told Building that an original focus on installing a wind turbine on the site resulted in the ODA missing its original goal of generating 20% of the post-Games Olympic park energy requirements on site through renewables.

I think we hung our hat too firmly on the idea of a wind turbine

Sir John Armitt, ODA

He said: “The initial percentage of electricity from renewables we hoped for was 20% and now that will be nearer 11%. I think we hung our hat too firmly on the idea of a wind turbine which would have contributed 7-8% of those targets and spent two years focusing on it only to admit defeat.

“Commercially the operators were just not interested. And my personal opinion is that you won’t see wind turbines in urban environments because there are too many constraints.”

The plan to install a wind turbine was dropped in June 2010 and in April 2011 the ODA admitted it would miss the 20% target. Instead, the organisation announced more than £1m investment in carbon reduction measures for local housing and schools across the four host boroughs that border the Olympic park.