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Port unveils plan for wind turbines on the waterfront  

More wind turbines could be going up in Barrow – this time on port land.

Two small wind turbines are already operating in the town at Tesco in Hindpool Road, with a third spinning its blades on the slipway area of BAE.

Now ABP ports has revealed it is to investigate the feasibility of erecting three or four big turbines on the water’s edge in the docks.

ABP is to work with Eclipse Energy, the company which already has government clearance to build a combined wind turbine and gas-powered energy field in the sea off Walney.

But Eclipse Energy is also interested in shore and industrial site schemes and has just signed an agreement with ABP in South Wales that enables Eclipse to evaluate the potential development of wind energy resources on ABP land there.

The Gwynt Yr Hafan project will evaluate areas within the ports of Cardiff, Barry, Newport, Port Talbot and Swansea which were previously identified by the Welsh Assembly government as potential ‘brown-field’ development sites suitable for wind farms.

Now the manager of ABP in Barrow, Nick Ridehalgh, has revealed that Eclipse Energy is to make a similar study here, which could result in turbines going up at Barrow docks.

Mr Ridehalgh told the Evening Mail: “We are in discussions with Eclipse with regard to looking into the feasibility of erecting three or four turbines within the port.

“Sites have been looked at, so it is something we are talking about.

“The beauty of these sort of turbines, if you take a look at Liverpool, for example, is that the waterfront area required to put up a substantial wind farm is minimal.”

If the turbines go ahead on the docks the power could be fed into the national grid, but also possibly be used by ABP for its own needs.

ABP and Eclipse would share the revenue.

Detailed plans for a Barrow scheme, including the number of turbines, have still to be drawn up.

Mr Ridehalgh said he thought renewable energy turbines would complement the regeneration image Barrow is planning and developments like the new technology park being built on Barrow Island.

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.”

North-West Evening Mail

12 January 2008

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