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Wind turbines get green light

Gwent is set for its first commercial wind turbines after planning chiefs gave the go-ahead for an eco energy development.

Two 130m turbines will now be built at Solutia UK’s Newport site on Traston Road.

The structures are set to 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.

The proposals were approved at a planning meeting yesterday following a site visit by members of Newport Council planning committee, who were concerned about possible noise problems.

Solutia estimate 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.

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.

The massive structures will 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.

Adrian Maddocks, development director of Wind Direct, described the turbines as “a flagship green energy development for Newport”.

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

By John Doel

South Wales Argus

23 August 2007