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Power could be blowing in the wind  

A Newport chemical company wants to build Gwent’s first commercial wind turbines.

The two 130m turbines could be built at Solutia UK’s Newport site on Traston Road if they get the go ahead from planning bosses tomorrow.

The structures would be almost twice the height of the recently opened Newport City Footbridge (70m) and would be visible from over 5km away and would be 750m from the nearest dwelling.

Solutia bosses say each turbine could generate more than 5.25 gigawatt/hours of electricity every year.

Between the two, this could make up as much as a third of the Newport site’s annual average electricity usage.

They would also have the ability to export electricity to the National Grid at times of low demand.

The turbines would have a 80m tower and 46.25m blade, and would have a maximum height of 130m -the same height as the chimney of Uskmouth power station.

The plans for the two green energy generators were put forward by Wind Direct – a company formed in 2004 to supply large energy users like busineses with a cheap, renewable energy supply.

The turbines have largely been welcomed.

Lliswerry councillor Allan Morris described them as “functional sculptures” and said he would prefer wind turbines to emissions.

But his fellow councillor Ken Critchley fears they would have a negative effect on people living in the Traston area.

“I think they will be detrimental to the amenity of residents.”

Solutia hopes the reduced energy costs will help the company run more efficiently.

Keith Agnew, Solutia’s energy manager, said: “Solutia looks forwards to improving its already excellent record in energy efficiency.

“Having turbines on a brownfield site where the power is used makes environmental sense and reducing energy consumption makes sound financial sense for Solutia.”

The company estimates that having the turbines will significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions by 9,800 tonnes, 150 tonnes and 26 tonnes per annum respectively.

The two 2 megawatt turbines will also contribute to the National Assembly’s onshore wind energy target of 800 megawatts by 2020.

Adrian Maddocks, development director of Wind Direct, said: “The two proposed wind turbines will become a flagship green energy development for Newport in an otherwise industrial location.”

By Jenny Brentnall

South Wales Argus

3 June 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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