The company constructing the Olympic Games site plans to build a wind turbine which would provide enough energy to power about 1,200 homes for a year, it was announced today.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said the 120-metre tall turbine, which will have a lifespan of about 20 years, will be used to power local amenities including street lighting and housing in the Olympic Park area after London 2012.
The turbine, which will cost about £2 million to build and install and has 40-metre-long blades, will be located at Eton Manor in the north of the Olympic Park site in east London.
A private company will be contracted to build the turbine and supply power back to the Olympic site at a reduced rate.
The turbine will also help to power construction machinery and lights after it is built in 2010.
The plan is part of the organisers’ aim to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games the most environmentally friendly held.
David Higgins, chief executive of the ODA, said: “We want to make use of as many innovative renewable technologies as possible to power the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and will be looking to industry to provide us with creative solutions in the months ahead.
“The wind turbine on the Olympic Park will be a symbol of the sustainability principles behind the Games.”
He said the turbine would act as a “green beacon” for the capital.
The ODA is also considering other green options including solar power, ground water cooling, small scale hydro and tidal power and biomass.
Sports Minister Richard Caborn said the Government was committed to working with the Olympic partners to make sure the Games were environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
He said: “Climate change is one of the five themes identified in the Sustainability Policy published in July where the Games can make the biggest impact and leave a lasting legacy.”
Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee, said: “The wind turbine will be a dramatic and iconic feature of the Olympic Park. It will provide a visible statement of our intent to make the Games as sustainable as possible, and is a significant part of our overall strategy and commitment to minimising the carbon footprint of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.”
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: “I am determined that London will lead the way in tackling climate change and I am setting tough but achievable renewable energy targets for the way all new buildings are constructed in the capital.”
Environmental charities welcomed today’s announcement.
Robert Napier, chief executive of the WWF which works with the ODA, said: “WWF-UK and BioRegional (also an environment charity) support the proposed urban wind turbine as part of London’s broader Olympic energy plan.
“The London Games and legacy development must minimise energy demand from buildings, infrastructure and transport and meet its energy needs using the most sustainable options.”
Construction of the turbine is expected to start in spring 2008 subject to planning permission.
Publisher: Ian Morgan
Copyright Press Association 2006
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