A retired Yorkshire couple have received a landmark pay-out for a faulty wind turbine.
Solicitors for Terry and Gail Beaumont say the case paves the way for further claims which could total millions of pounds from other wind turbine owners.
The settlement follows a long legal battle between the couple, who run a hobby farm at Cumberworth, near Huddersfield, where they breed alpacas, and turbine manufacturer Evoco Energy Ltd, of Brighouse, which went into liquidation last year
In 2010, the couple paid £40,000 for a 10kw turbine it was claimed would give them a return on their investment of £250,000 through green incentives selling energy to the National Grid.
But it quickly developed technical problems and in January 2012, the blades of a turbine owned by neighbours sheared off in galeforce winds and became embedded in a drystone wall. The manufacturer decided its products were unsafe and their turbine was one of some 170 which were turned off.
The couple began legal proceedings to recover their investment but Evoco went into liquidation last year. The case was settled against its insurers.
Mr Beaumont said the legal settlement had come at the “11th hour”. “It’s as though a weight has been lifted and, after all the stress and worry about how we would fund our retirement without the promised return on investment from the wind turbine, this is the result we had hoped for,” he said.
Satish Jakhu, of Rubric Lois King Solicitors in Birmingham, said: “As the first case of its kind, this fantastic result will give renewed hope to the many owners of defective and potentially hazardous wind turbines who were sold a dream which ultimately turned into a nightmare.”