The seven wind farms in Cornwall are producing enough power to light and heat 27,000 homes, but the total energy produced needs to double to achieve the target set by the County Structure Plan.At the moment 102 turbines spread from Laneast, near Launceston, down to Bonython on The Lizard, have a capacity of 41 megawatts.
In addition, almost seven megawatts are being produced from gas at the landfill waste sites at United Mines , St Day, and Connon Bridge, near Liskeard.
The target in the Cornwall Structure Plan is to generate 93 megawatts from renewable sources by 2010 and if plans to add another three wind farms to the seven we already have in Cornwall came to fruition that target would easily be reached.
However, the proposals for the three, all in North Cornwall and within a four-mile radius of the old RAF airfield at Davidstow, have brought protests from some of those living nearby.
There is also support from those who feel that this type of energy is part of a viable solution to reduce Britain’s carbon footprint.
A protest group has been formed to oppose plans for a massive wind farm at Davidstow Airfield, and there are also opponents at the ready to fight schemes in the pipeline for turbines nearby at Otterham and Hendraburnick.
An application for a three-turbine site, each 50 metres high, at Morwenstow was turned down by North Cornwall planners in March but the applicants are taking their case to appeal.
The proposal for Davidstow Moor is for 20 wind turbines, each 414ft high, twice the height of Nelson’s Column, which would generate 50 megawatts of energy, enough to power 28,000 homes.
These plans, together with the wind farm already operating at Cold Northcott, at Laneast also on the edge of Bodmin Moor, would create a total of up to 60 turbines within a radius of four miles from Davidstow.
There are also plans to update the Delabole wind farm, Britain’s first, with turbines over twice the size of those already there and triple the energy produced.
“Our modern lifestyle requires energy, and we have to generate that energy in a sustainable fashion,” says Hugo House of Good Energy.
The delicate balance which has to be made is whether the turbines seriously damage the landscape, and whether the positioning of wind farms should be spread out more over the whole of Britain.
There is also the possible damage to wildlife, and already the RSPB has voiced concerned about the dangers turbines at Davidstow pose to the population of golden plovers.
Cornwall’s seven existing wind farms are spread down the county, from Cold Northcott, Delabole, down to St Breock Downs above Wadebridge, then to Bear Downs, near St Eval, Carland Cross alongside the A30 and Three Burrows a few miles further west. The next and last is at Bonython on The Lizard.
30 August 2007