Plans to build up to five 120-metre tall wind turbines at Shoreham Harbour are being drawn up, The Argus can exclusively reveal.
Green power company Ecotricity has held meetings with Brighton and Hove City Council to discuss the proposal, which could generate electricity for up to 7,500 homes.
Scouting work has already been carried out at Shoreham Harbour and the energy company has located four or five possible sites, two within the city boundaries, on the eastern arm of the port.
Ecotricity believe the wind farm could hold up to five turbines, although two to three are more likely, which will tower 120 metres to the tip, including an 80-metre base and 40-metre blades.
Each will generate five million kilowatt-hour of electricity per year saving around 4,000 tonnes of CO2 and, if all five are built, the scheme would power almost seven percent of the city’s homes.
The project was initiated earlier this year and discussions were held between the Labour-run council administration and Ecotricity.
Ecotricity boss Dale Vince said: “We had an interesting meeting, discussing ways that we might be able to help the council take steps to tackle climate change by introducing low carbon projects into the district.
“It is early days and we’re very pleased to be able to discuss these issues and hopefully be able to assist Brighton and Hove.”
A meeting has now been organised in the coming weeks between the city council, Ecotricity and the Shoreham Port Authority, which owns most of the land in the harbour, to discuss the proposals.
It is hoped the project will also look at marine renewable energy and whether heat from Shoreham power station could be reused.
Ecotricity has already built 11 wind farms across the UK and has another eight projects at planning or construction stage.
The company is working with Bristol Port Company on a scheme at Avonmouth Docks, Avon, where brownfield land is being used to build two similar turbines.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, the leader of the the city’s Labour group, said: “I have great hopes that this project can be taken forward on an exploratory basis, but it is early days.
“Predictions so far are that the site could be a good one and would make a significant contribution to the city’s carbon reduction programme.”
Tory councillor Brian Oxley, the new leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “This is something the previous administration had been exploring.
“We said in our manifesto we would look at renewable energy and we will have to see how this fits in with our overall programme.”
Rod Johnstone, the chief executive of Shoreham Port Authority, said proposals for a marine wind farm were ruled out in the 1990s but that technology and the importance of green issued had moved on significantly since then.
He said: “We haven’t been party to the discussions but we have been asked to meet with them and we will be there to talk about what the proposals are.”
Plans to power Glyndebourne’s famous opera house by wind power have run into trouble with a concerted campaign against the scheme.
And the Shoreham project could also likely to prove controversial given its proximity to Western Esplanade, otherwise known as Millionaires’ Row, where Fat Boy Slim, Zoe Ball and Heather Mills McCartney live.
Singer Kylie Minogue has also been linked to the salubrious seaside villas and is said to be looking to move in.
By Lawrence Marzouk
29 May 2007
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