Wind Farms Approved to Power 200,000 Homes

On Friday the Government approved plans for two large wind farms. The Sheringham Shoal scheme will be built 12 miles off the coast of Norfolk, have more than 100 turbines and will have a capacity of 315 megawats and be able to power 178,000 homes. A smaller onshore development at Alnwick in Northumberland will have a 75 megawat capacity, enough to power 27,000 homes. Approval is subject to technical solutions being found within the next five years to meet the Ministry of Defence’s concerns about the impacts on two radar stations. Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the British Wind Energy Authority, said: “This is fantastic news, this is a major step forward for both the wind industry and a major step towards delivering the 2020 renewable energy targets.

“These decisions show that with patience, determination and co-operation it is possible to overcome difficult technical issues and win planning permission”.

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13 Responses to Wind Farms Approved to Power 200,000 Homes

  1. Anne Cox says:

    It’s great to see that these windfarms have been approved. BUT, at what cost? On land the main loss would be visual, our landscape, all of which is man-made even centuries of countryside management. In the sea is a different matter. Do we fully understand the ecology of the seafloor? Fish spawning grounds are already compromised by the dumping of waste in the North Sea. What of altered coastal erosion patterns? Maritime safety? Big ships tend to hit obstacles in high seas. And, there is always The Ministy of Defense and the threat to radar. Don’t worry about China and Russia, climate change and its spin-off effect global warming are the enemies now.

  2. matt says:

    I note the 5 year delay thanks to the MoD! Surely they can use GPS instead.

  3. earthpal says:

    I understand the concerns regarding the marine impact of offshore windfarms but I would argue that the benefits of offshore wind, in contrast to continued burning of fossil fuels outweigh the impact from the turbines. And it’s worth noting that many other human activities surely have an even greater impact on underwater habitats, not least oil and gas exploration.

    Alternative energy sources would lessen our dependence on those dirty fuels thus decreasing the environmental impacts all round.

  4. matt says:

    Yes, I agree with your point EP.

  5. Baikong says:

    We also have wind turbines in the Philippines vast coastline in Luzon. It was launched last 2005, which is the first in SouthEast Asia which meets the 40% power requirement of the province in Ilocos Norte. Most of the turbine materials were shipped from Denmark. Philippines is actually have found to have a potential power of 76,600 MW, leading other wind power-producing countries like Germany (14,000 MW potential wind power), Spain and the US (6,000 MW each), Denmark (3,000 MW) and India (2,100 MW). So, if the country and the government is only sincere to its target for environmentally friendly, and cost-effective resource of power, then there is no way that the people should suffer the increase cost of electricity per household. Plus, it generates clean power as well.

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  7. keithsc says:

    It seems any energy production has an impact on the environment but that offshore wind has one of the least effects. Despite having to satisfy the MOD concerns the company, Scira, hope to begin construction next year with an aim to it being operational in 2011. Any holdup seems to be a financial one. See Baikong that’s great about the Philippines. It’s so important this technology is used all over the world.

  8. matt says:

    Wow Baikong, that’s interesting. I must check that out. Good to hear.

  9. the Grit says:

    Hi y’all,

    We are seeing wind power here as well, at least as it passes through the area. While you have no reason to know it, unless you work as a targeting analyst for some nuclear power that may one day want to attack the US, Memphis, Tennessee is a major intersection of several Interstate highways so, if one pays attention to the road while driving locally, instead of having a cell phone stuck to your head, it’s not all that unusual to see some interesting traffic rolling along our roads.

    For the last month or so, I’ve sighted several trucks, and extra long ones I would point out, hauling wind turbine blades. I must admit that the size of the things took me by surprise. Really, I know logically how long they are from reading about them, but seeing them in person is an eye opening experience.

    Being an inquisitive sort and figuring that seeing them on a side road instead of on a major highway, I did some investigating. Best I can tell, there is one small area in our State that is suitable for a wind farm, and some company is in the process of packing it full of big windmills. The reason for the side route appears to be that the blades are too long and tall, even when packed onto a truck, to make it around some of our Interstate curves or through some of the tunnels, so they must take the scenic route. Cool.

    the Grit

  10. matt says:

    Hey everyone, isn’t it great to see grit excited about renewables. Big toys ‘n’ all. 🙂

  11. earthpal says:

    Hi Grit,

    Yes those turbines are huge. My husband is working on an offshore windfarm off the coast of Wales and he said the same as you about them – that the size of them up close took him by surprise too.

    Matt, Keith etc . . . a good article up in today’s Guardian in support of windfarms. It’s actually in repsonse to an objecter so it might help to read the article history first . . .

  12. keithsc says:

    Yes Earthpal that does sum it up. It does seem that more wind farms are being approved offshore now because of the concerns people raise of the way they look and of the noise yet when they are built many people change their minds and grow to accept them and even like them. So your husbands works on them. Good for him. They must be quite a challenge to build offshore when they are so big.

  13. the Grit says:

    Hi matt,

    I suspect that you have misunderstood me completely. I love the idea of renewable energy and generating my own power. Heck, I’m a big fan of every bit of technology that makes people more independent. What I will fight with all my ability is the idea of Government making me invest in their latest whim, and the general insistence that a transition from fossil fuels be made, on a general basis, before it is economically practical.

    Truly, while it’s obvious that we can do many things in a more efficient way, on a practical level we have to consider history when we talk about change on this level. For instance, over here, we are still, after a few hundred years, having trouble dealing with the effect a person’s skin color has on society, and that is a lot less dramatic than the concept of moving each individual away from dependence on the Government Provided Infrastructure, which will be necessary in the long term, if 8 or 9 BILLION of us are going to get along together. Like any other situation, you can catch more fly with honey than with vinegar.

    Hi e,

    I still haven’t seen one working, but I’m sure it’s quite an experience. However, as much as I do love big technology, I’m afraid that giant windmills are nothing but a distraction. Really, not enough places can expect them to be profitable, and even those can’t be sure enough of their productivity to not maintain traditional backup generating facilities. I’d much rather, personally, have one or four smaller ones of my own that were affordable investments. Pardon me, but I tend not to trust big business any more than is necessary.

    My best wishes toward keeping your husband safe while working on those behemoths.

    the Grit

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