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'Repowered' windfarm will double output

Developers have unveiled plans to more than double the capacity of the UK’s first commercial wind farm in Cornwall.

They aim to replace the existing ten turbines at Delabole, near Camelford, with either five or eight new machines which could be up 120 metres in height to the tip of their blades.

Good Energy, the company behind the project, said the “repowering” of the site could provide electricity for between 8,000 and 10,000 homes while offsetting more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the turbines’ lifetime.

The wind farm, which was first developed by Peter Edwards in 1991, is seen as a flagship for raising the region’s output of renewable energy.

Mr Edwards said yesterday: “You may remember that 20 years ago a nuclear power station was planned for Cornwall at Luxulyan. Cornwall could not have been more emphatic that they did not want it, but it is no good saying you do not want something – an alternative must always be found if you still want the lights to go on.

“Now, those reasons are stronger than ever. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s reports have become positively alarming and climate change is high on the agenda of most governments.”

Mr Edwards said that the depletion of fossil fuel resources, and political friction over gas supplies from Russia reinforced the need for far greater locally generated energy.

Good Energy, which took over the Delabole site in 2002, said it hoped that construction work on either of two options for the wind farm could begin in the next two to five years.

Juliet Davenport, the company’s chief executive, said the new turbines would be of the latest maximum efficiency and quieter than the existing ones.

She said: “We have commissioned independent consultants to assess the environmental impact. This will provide North Cornwall District Council planners with the key information they need to make a decision on the project.

“There are a number of possibilities for the new layout of the site. They all include larger turbines and fewer of them. The bigger the turbines we use, the fewer we will need.”

Delabole’s ten turbines have an installed capacity of 4 megawatts (MW), sufficient to supply an estimated 3,000 homes with electricity. The two favoured options for the new layout include: eight turbines, at 60 metres to the hub and 30m blades, with a total installed capacity of 10.4 MW; or five turbines at 70-80 metres, with blades 40 metres in length, and an installed capacity of 12.5MW.

Tim German, director of the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership, emphasised the need for a swift uptake of varied renewable energy technologies. He said: “Cornwall’s agreed target is for 93-108MW of electricity from renewable sources by 2010, and we are well off that. The seven wind farms in the county currently play a significant role in what we do produce, but that is using old technologies. The strategy is very clear – they need to be repowered.”

Western Morning News

7 June 2007