East Anglia’s multimillion-pound renewable energy industry had a boost yesterday as a £4m scheme for two giant wind turbines in north Suffolk was unveiled.
SLP, the company that built the 126m-high turbine “Gulliver” at Ness Point in Lowestoft, has revealed plans to build two turbines of the same size in the nearby village of Kessingland.
The news comes just weeks before work is due to begin on the £6.4m Orbis Energy renewable energy centre in the town, which could put Lowestoft at the helm of the UK’s offshore renewable industry.
Last night Waveney MP Bob Blizzard welcomed the scheme, claiming the turbines close to the A12 would act as a “gateway” to south Lowestoft, signalling the town’s green credentials.
He said: “We have set out our stall in Lowestoft to try to be a major centre for the wind energy industry, we have the Orbis Energy centre coming on, and this is something that could bring a lot of money and jobs to our area.
“But we have to demonstrate that commitment by having turbines locally. These turbines will be a southern gateway to the town and will be very important symbolically that we are at the centre of the renewable energy industry.”
He added: “We know climate change is the biggest threat facing the world today. That’s why the government has set a target to get 10pc of the country’s electricity from zero CO2 renewable sources by 2010. But it is no good setting a target if people on the ground don’t support that by building sources such as wind turbines.”
The plans are still at the public consultation stage, but SLP is optimistic that if permission is granted, the turbines could be up and running by early 2008.
One turbine would be built alongside the A12, while the second would be in nearby land belonging to the Africa Alive wildlife park.
Between them they would have the capacity to generate enough energy to power 3,745 homes, around 8pc of the homes in Waveney.
Yesterday people in Kessingland flocked to a public consultation in the village to quiz SLP bosses.
And despite some concerns about television reception, which SLP has pledged to rectify if it does become a problem, many were genuinely pleased to have green energy on their doorsteps.
One resident said: “I think they are a good thing, and there are only two of them. I would be concerned if there were more. But I would rather see one of these out of my window than live next door to a nuclear power plant, and that is the way things are going.”
SLP project managers are also optimistic the turbines will receive widespread local support.
Paul Smith, SLP’s onshore wind development manager, said: “There are a lot of myths surrounding wind turbines, and often people’s concerns are based on things that just aren’t true.
“I think familiarity helps, and people in Lowestoft can see the turbine at Ness Point, they can stand under it and listen to it and make a judgment based on real evidence.”
By Lynette Alcock
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