A war of words has broken out between campaigners fighting a wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea and the company behind the scheme regarding the amount of power that would be generated.

KNOll to Windfarm, the pressure group set up to oppose the plans for a wind farm at Brent Knoll, has questioned the figures supplied by Ecotricity, the group behind the scheme to build five turbines.

A map showing the location of the five turbines [Pic: Ecotricity]Andrew Manning, a spokesperson for the group, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Ecotricity have claimed that the proposed development will provide electricity for 8,000 local houses.”

“Whilst we accept that such claims are supposed to be indicative – as once the power is fed into the National Grid it is obviously not ‘ear-marked’ for particular users or uses and just forms part of an available pool of power used by the whole country – our own calculations, prepared and reviewed by experienced engineers, suggest that the amount of power potentially supplied to the public would appear to be significantly less than that claimed.”

“Our calculations suggest that, in fact, the turbines might produce, at peak times, enough power for between 1,000 and 2,000 homes.”

“We are therefore confused how Ecotricity can claim a figure between four and eight times higher than our calculations. Perhaps we have made a mistake in our assumptions. We would therefore welcome the opportunity for our technical advisors to meet with Ecotricity to try and address our confusion.”

Ecotricity managing director Dale Vince [Pic: Ecotricity]However, Ecotricity is standing by its figures and hit back at the KNOll to Windfarm group.

In an interview with Burnham-On-Sea.com, Ecotricity managing director Dale Vince (pictured) said: “They have made a mistake. Their methodology and numbers are incorrect.”

“Wind energy is very complicated. We have been building wind farms for ten years and have a lot of experience in predicting the energy they produce.”

“The Brent Knoll group have chosen the wrong basis for their calculations. Power consumption should be calculated at the hub height of the turbines. The wind speed varies considerably at different heights. 8,000 homes is actually a conservative figure for the homes that would be powered here – it could actually be much more.”

He added: “I would welcome to discuss this further with them.”

Earlier this week, Burnham-On-Sea.com exclusively reported that Ecotricity’s bid for planning permission had been submitted to district planners.


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Ecotricity Web site