The group fighting a proposed wind farm on the outskirts of Burnham-On-Sea has again challenged claims by the developer that it would produce enough electricity to power 8,000 homes.

The KNOll to Windfarm action group said on Monday it had noted Dale Vince, Managing Director of Ecotricity – the commercial developer behind the scheme – had made a number of claims in recent weeks.

Andrew Manning, spokesperson for KNOll to Windfarm, told “He’s said electricity generated would not go into the National Grid, but be used by local homes. He also said his company’s estimates that sufficient energy would be generated to meet the supply needs of 8,000 local homes are actually a conservative estimate, and he also said KNOll to Windfarm hasn’t mentioned the names of the engineers who have produced its estimates.”

Mr Manning added: “We consulted two eminent technical sources, Dr John Constable of the Renewable Energy Foundation, and Alan Spencer, a professional electrical engineer with more than 30 years experience in the UK electricity supply industry and wide experience in operational and advisory positions.”

“We stand by our methodology and conclusions that a significantly lower level of energy would be generated by the five turbines currently proposed by Ecotricity for the site.”

“We also note that Ecotricity has recently been admonished by the Advertising Standards Authority concerning claims it made for power generation at Swaffham, one of its few sites in the UK.”

“Furthermore, the Department of Trade and Industry this week published a study showing that energy outputs from on-shore wind turbines in the UK has proven to be less than that estimated by pro-wind lobbies.”

“We are also intrigued how Ecotricity proposes to supply 8,000 local homes without using the National Grid. This seems far fetched. How would it transmit electricity to the homes? Has it sold supply contracts to every house in the area? How would it provide the required back up power for when wind is not available without using the grid?”

The comments came after Ecotrocity’s bid was labled ‘invalid’ by planners last week after important information was ommited from its planning application, but the company is expected to rectify this shortly. The final decision on the controversial application will then be made by district planners within four months.

But Dale Vince, Managing Director of Ecotricity, is standing by his company’s figures and says the KNOll to Windfarm is wrong to question the figures. He also challenged the group to meet him.


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