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Wind farm could be running in two years

Devon Wind Power this week said its wind farm at Fullabrook Down, near Ilfracombe, could be generating electricity by 2010.

Thee High Court granted the firm’s application for a quick hearing into North Devon Council’s judicial review of its planning permission granted by the Secretary of State last October.

The hearing is due to take place on June 25 and 26. A DWP spokesman said it would cost an eight-figure sum “If North Devon Council lose, they will be responsible for a significant part of that sum,” she said.

DWP had asked the Court to determine the legal challenge quickly to enable it to meet key deadlines in the pre-construction programme that will help to ensure the wind farm is operational during 2010.

The Government has set a target of generating 10 per cent of the UK’s electricity from clean, renewable energy sources by this date.

The Court’s decision means that the outcome of the judicial review should be known by the summer. If the legal challenge is dismissed, DWP will be able to enter into key contractual commitments to enable the wind farm to be operational by 2010.

DWP’s Chief Executive, Keith Pyne, said: “This is very good news. There is a minimum two-year lead in time to buy the turbines, arrange delivery and sort out other operational issues before a wind farm can be built and start to generate electricity.

“The Court’s decision to expedite North Devon District Council’s legal challenge means that, if the case is dismissed, we will be able to take advantage of a window of opportunity, in the first half of 2008, to secure the contracts necessary to ensure that Fullabrook wind farm is operational by 2010.

“We firmly believe North Devon District Council’s case will be dismissed. This will then give the green light to Fullabrook generating electricity in time for the country, and Devon, to make a real contribution to meeting the Government’s renewable energy targets and help in the battle against climate change”, he said.

North Devon Gazette

20 February 2008