Published: January 26, 2010
Stormy public meeting held over West Huntspill wind farm plans

The boss of green energy company Ecotricity has this week defended his plans to build a new wind farm on land at West Huntspill, near Burnham-On-Sea.

Dozens of residents attended a public meeting where Ecotricity formally unveiled its plans to construct five wind turbines on land next to Pawlett Road.

The company, which orginally wanted to build a wind farm at Brent Knoll two years ago, has held discussions with Sedgemoor District Councul over the plans to build the 79 metre tall wind turnbines on land north of the landfill site near the Huntspill River.

Dale Vince, Ecotricity's founder and MD, told Burnham-On-Sea.com after the meeting: "It was really useful to meet with local people, hear their views and help clear up some of the myths that often emerge about windmills at the planning stage."

"While there were people who were against the idea, we have had contact from plenty more who think windmills at this site would be a good thing."

"We’re confident this is a good site to harness local wind energy, the temporary mast will simply give us a more detailed picture of conditions on site."

"Five turbines here could produce enough energy to power the equivalent of nearly 8,000 homes local homes. And the clean electricity we hope to make here will be available for local people to power their homes and businesses with."

Residents heard that the firm has called the site, located just off Pawlett Road, the 'Black Ditch Wind Park' after the rhyne which runs through the site. The site is pictured on the map above.

The proposed turbines will have a bub height of 79m and a rotor diameter of 82m. They would have a 10Mw capacity and generate 25.77million units of 'green electricity' per year and, according to Ecotricity, the CO2 savings would amount to 11,082 tonnes.

The claims have been disputed by campaigners from the newly-formed No Huntspill Wind Farm group, who spoke out against the scheme at the meeting. "Unlike the windmills of old, these huge machines will dominate the landscape and will have harmful local environmental impacts," a spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

"At over 400 feet, these wind turbines will be the height of Brent Knoll and a blot on the Levels Landscape. The electricity produced will be hugely expensive - twice the cost of conventional or nuclear power generation."

Burnham-On-Sea.com first reported last October on the proposed wind farms at West Huntspill. EDF is also planning a separate nine wind turbine wind farm at nearby Puriton.

 


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