Wind farms could be developed on Swansea and Port Talbot docks next year if an energy firm’s plans get the go-ahead.Associated British Ports and Eclipse Energy have signed a deal which allows the company to investigate whether a wind farm would be viable on the sites.
Swansea and Port Talbot, along with sites in Cardiff, Barry and Newport have been identified by the Assembly Government as potential “brownfield” developments.
Over the next year Eclipse will be carrying out a number of environmental and technical studies, as well as consulting local stakeholders, before putting forward detailed proposals.
John Fitzgerald, ABP port director, South Wales Ports, said: “We have always considered our South Wales ports as potential sites for the development of new wind energy installations, and we are therefore very keen to see the results of Eclipse’s evaluation of our land.
“We believe our South Wales ports have the potential to become an energy hub for the renewable sector.”
Ian Hatton, chief executive of Eclipse Energy, said: “There are numerous wind energy developments on industrial sites in the UK and Europe, we aim to show how this form of energy development can be integrated into the industrial landscape.
“Although individual sites are limited to 25MW of generating capacity under planning guidelines, collectively or individually the sites could potentially make a significant contribution to renewable energy targets for Wales.”
A 25MW wind farm could generate enough energy to power around 16,000 homes.
A spokesman for Eclipse said: “During 2008 we will hold, probably, a public exhibition to discuss it after we have some initial feasibility studies for the site.
“We will look at the site, first of all, and decide what’s possible.
“Sites for turbines, positions and numbers, and various options will be looked at.
“We will share the information with local residents before we put any plans forward.
“If all goes according to plan, we could be looking at putting in an application late in 2008.”
By Shaun Greaney
7 December 2007
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