The sound made by 100 tonnes of steel and carbon fibre rotating 400 feet overhead is surprisingly understated. Each whoosh of the 260 foot blades spans an area the size of the London Eye and generates enough electricity to power the average British home for 24 hours. There are 32 of these 8MW turbines in the second phase of Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank wind farm spinning off the Merseyside coast. They are the most powerful ever, dotting an area the size of almost 6,000 football pitches within the Irish Sea, each one a beacon of Britain’s global dominance in the booming offshore wind industry.
Telegraph 21st May 2017 read more »
A FLOATING offshore wind farm that would cost £108 million to install is currently the frontrunner in work to develop renewable energy in Guernsey. A preliminary feasibility study was released this week and now more equipment will be installed at Mont Cuet, in the north of Guernsey, to help move the project forward. The study by Xodus Group concluded that a 30MW offshore wind project could be viable. It shortlisted three preferred sites for five turbines. One option is 5km off Guernsey’s north coast and another is 15km away, west of Schole Bank, between Guernsey and Alderney. The third – the only floating option – is 25km north-west of the island. The offshore floating option is the most costly, but is seen as preferable because of the visual impact of the other two which have estimated capital costs of £68.23m and £80.98m respectively.
Jersey Evening Post 22nd May 2017 read more »
A battle over the right to build wind farms off the east coast of Scotland has caused a falling out among environmentalism campaigners, fracturing the green lobby. An appeal by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) against four huge turbine developments in the North Sea was overturned last week, despite the charity’s claims that the projects would harm thousands of migratory birds. RSPB Scotland has long supported the development of renewables but its director, Stuart Housden, said it was “hugely disappointed” by the decision and would continue to oppose projects that “posed a major threat to Scotland’s wildlife”. In 2016, a report commissioned by RSPB Scotland, along with WWF Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland, argued that renewables would have to produce half of the country’s energy across heat, transport and electricity by 2030 to meet climate targets. Whilst RSPB Scotland has continued to argue that developments must not come at a cost to the birds, both WWF Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland have been silent on the question. When ministers first approved the scheme in 2014, Friends of the Earth backed the four developments – Neart Na Gaoithe, Inch Cape, and Seagreen Alpha and Bravo – in the hope that they could provide 2.284 gigawatts of power, enough for more than 1.4 million homes, every year. Before Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway, reversed the decision last week, the RSPB had successfully appealed against the developments. The charity said that the wind farms could harm thousands of birds such as gannets, puffins and kittiwakes, which nest on internationally recognised reserves including the Isle Of May and the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth. The developers have pledged to minimise the environmental impact. A spokesman for Red Rock Power, which is developing the Inch Cape windfarm, said it would seek to “work collaboratively” with the RSPB.
Times 22nd May 2017 read more »