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Water firm's bid for wind turbines  

Four new wind turbines, each 125 metres high, could be built in Avonmouth by Wessex Water.

The firm hopes to install the giant turbines, which will cost £2.5 million each, on land north-west of junction 18a of the M5.

It will bring the total number of wind turbines to seven, when added to the three which were set up to serve the Bristol port last August.

Wessex Water has released details of the scheme to the public and expects to submit a planning application to the city council by late July.

After a 16-week environmental imp-act assessment, work could start early in 2009 and the first two turbines could be ready for action by the end of 2010.

The masts would be 80 metres high, while the three blades would be 45 metres long, the same size as the ones in Bristol Port.

Each would generate about five gigawatt hours of energy per year. Put together, all four would provide Wessex Water with eight percent of the 260 gigawatt hours it uses to power sewage treatment works around the South West each year.

The firm’s sewage plant at Avonmouth is already powered by renewable energy – it recycles methane from the sewage to use as fuel for the site.

With plans under way to enhance the biogas supply, the electricity produced by the wind turbines would be used at other sites around the region.

Project manager Steve Carver said: “I believe we’re the fourth biggest energy user in the South West and we’re keen to hit our target of producing 20 per cent of our energy through renewable sources by 2020.

“We’ve been consulting people like Natural England, the RSPB and Bristol City Council and everyone seems very supportive.”

Spud Murphy, ward councillor for Avonmouth and a member of the north Bristol planning committee, said: “I’m very much in favour of these turbines because they are a clean, alternative source of electricity. They should build more of them because the footprint is so small and they won’t impact negatively on any of the residents in the area.

“The only possible disadvantage is the fact birds can fly into them but it hasn’t happened so far on the first three in Avonmouth.”

Wessex Water is asking for feedback on the bid. People can contact the company by calling Neil Whitehead on 01225 526323.

Evening Post

15 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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