A village on the edge of Bodmin Moor may become home to a 160ft wind turbine, which could be the first built in South East Cornwall.
Cornwall Light and Power has asked Caradon District Council for permission to build a single turbine near Pensilva, after months of discussion and rumour.
The company claims the 1.3 megawatt turbine will provide enough energy for 550 homes in the area, but opposition group Green Caradon Against Turbines (Green CATS) has rubbished the figures.
Cornwall Light and Power chief executive officer Neil Harris said: “Cornwall is currently producing just over 52 megawatts of its electricity from renewable sources, and three-quarters of this is from onshore wind power.
“There is much to be done if the county is to achieve its target of having between 93MW and 108MW of renewable energy capacity by 2010, and the proposed turbine at High Down can play its part in this progress.
“As we enter the planning phase of this project we hope to speak to as many people as possible to understand their views and concerns, and to discuss how benefits for the community can be maximised.”
Developers, opponents and local people met at the Millennium Centre in Pensilva on Thursday to discuss the plans, where images and further information were on display.
Green CATS’ chairman Danny Mageean said his group is still firmly against the plan: “This is going to have a tremendous impact on the area.
“This turbine will tower over all of South East Cornwall and severely diminish the landscape.
“We all understand that we have to do our bit to help the environment, and if wind turbines did exactly what it said on the tin then it wouldn’t be an issue, but the simple fact of the matter is they don’t.
“The images they have provided us with are laughable. They should be presenting us with the worst case scenario instead of painting a false picture.”
Based on average wind speed at the site, the turbine would save 51,480 tonnes of CO2 emissions during its 25-year lifespan.
Pensilva’s emissions-free electricity would go into the local electricity distribution network and be consumed by local households and businesses.
Mr Harris said Cornwall Light and Power would consult fully with locals.
He added: “We want to start making provisions for community funding, and would like to discuss what’s needed in Pensilva, how much revenue could be generated and how best to manage this process.
“CLP is happy to meet residents on a regular basis for as long as required, and naturally we are also happy to take residents to the site at High Down.”
19 December 2007
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