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Windfarm may be heading for Cardiff

Cardiff could be getting its first city mini-windfarm, it has been revealed.

Turbines to generate power could be sited along the city’s foreshore.

A study to be carried out within the next year will look at the feasibility of locating a wind farm ““ probably involving two turbines ““ within the city’s boundaries, possibly in an area near the Celsa steelworks in Tremorfa.

Cardiff council said that it also wanted to investigate the potential for heating buildings, such as County Hall and Willows High School, from a waste heat recovery scheme centred on the city’s Celsa plants.

Councillor Mark Stephens, the executive member for economic development, said: “If wind farms are to be developed ““ and we have not reached a decision in principle yet ““ the council has to find out whether it would be technically feasible.

“In addition, we need to assess the impact on the environmental ““ both the natural and people.

“We plan to work with the Carbon Trust on this.

“I see three options if a scheme proves feasible.

“The trust could build the turbines and take the profits, there could be a partnership approach or the authority could construct them.

“They would look very much like the wind turbines along the M4 near Reading.

“We have already held talks with Celsa about a waste heat recovery scheme and that could also move forward,” he added.

Cardiff council leader Rodney Berman said: “A lot of the controversy about wind turbines around Wales has been created because of concerns they are planned in sensitive areas such as off the coast of Porthcawl or in attractive landscapes.

“We have got a shoreline which has been largely ignored and it is worth looking into the feasibility of the idea.”

Julian Rosser, director of Friends of the Earth, said: “Building wind turbines in a variety of locations is perfectly feasible. The crucial thing is the strength of wind speed.

“I don’t know what it would be like on somewhere like the foreshore but it is certainly worth investigating. We also strongly support the use of industrial processes to generate energy. When you transmit electricity around the country there is a loss, depending on the distance involved.

“Certainly, schemes that generate energy locally would be very worthwhile.”

by Phillip Nifield
South Wales Echo


14 May 2007