Fierce opposition to giant Atlantic Array wind farm

August 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Currently the world’s largest wind farm is the 175-turbine London Array in
Kent. However in July the Government approved plans for the Triton Knoll
wind farm, comprising 288 turbines off the Lincolnshire and Norfolk coasts.

Although the scheme submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by RWE represents
a scaled-down version of the original proposal for 417 turbines – revised
after a growing backlash last year – opponents said the project, which could
cover 77 sq miles, remained “gigantic”, and could harm the local economy.

Steve Crowther, of the Slay the Array campaign group, said that the scheme
would have a “potentially catastrophic” effect on tourism in Devon.

Mr Crowther, who is also the national chairman of Ukip, said: “It is an
inappropriate place to put anything of that scale. Opposition is growing at
a considerable pace now – we have thousands of people signed up to the
campaign and we expect that to treble.”

The plans are also being opposed by the Landmark Trust, the charity that
manages Lundy, which warned: “The Array will dwarf the island, dominating
its outstanding seascape, and overwhelming precisely the sense of remote
wildness that has made Lundy a place of refuge for wildlife and visitors for
centuries.”

However RWE says that the plans follow a consultation with local communities
and other groups and take into account the results of environmental and
engineering studies.

RWE npower renewables took over the plans in 2008 from another firm, Farm
Energy, which had announced an Atlantic Array scheme in 2007.

The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a charity publishing data on the energy
sector, calculated that it could earn RWE around £313 million a year in
consumer subsidy under the Government’s Contracts for Difference (CFD)
scheme.

Dr John Constable, director of REF, said: “The scale and pace of the EU
renewables targets is unquestionably leading to devil-may-care development
on and off-shore, which leads to concerns about local environmental impact,
but these objections will pale into insignificance when the public
understands that subsidising renewables leads to real, indeed major
reductions in standard of living.

“For prosperity you need cheap energy; but wind power generally, and offshore
wind in particular, is very expensive energy indeed.”

RWE said the figure was “greatly overestimated” and that there was still
uncertainty over CFDs.

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