Developers hoping to build a wind farm in Yelvertoft have been accused of circulating misleading information about wind power.
Alan Hesketh, a former chairman of the British Standards Committee on turbines, is leading an action group of 50 residents vowing to fight against the plans.
The Yelvertoft parish councillor, who has just retired from a 40-year career in the power plant industry, has accused Your Energy of using false information in its bid to gain support for the development which could see 12 130 metre turbines overlooking the village.
He says one company’s claims about how much power is generated by their turbines has already led to a complaint being lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority.
The No Windfarm at Yelvertoft (NoWAY) action group held its inaugural meeting in the village Reading Room on Friday.
The group claim the environmental benefits of wind turbines have been overstated and argue they do very little to reduce CO2 emissions because they are inactive for prolonged periods when there is no wind.
Since announcing its plans for Yelvertoft last month, Your Energy has held an information day at the village hall, circulated fliers to all houses and put on a free trip to their other wind farm site near Kettering.
Among the information given out was the claim that a single wind turbine generates enough electricity to power about 1,000 houses for a year.
But NoWAY argue that a 2 megawatt turbine would only provide 2 kilowatts per house – less than the amount needed to bring a kettle to the boil.
Mr Hesketh said he was pleased with the level of support for the campaign and said it was important people got their objections in early.
“If you ask anyone in Burton Latimer (the site of Your Energy’s other wind farm) they all say the same thing – they were not quick enough off the mark.
“That is one of the worst things you can do.”
Village resident Alan Chantler, who helped organise the meeting, said the group’s main aim at the moment was to give people a truer account of the implications and benefits of wind power.
“We were pleased to see the level of support we had. The Reading Room where we held the meeting was full to bursting,’ he said.
“One of the main issues we have is that the facts distributed by Your Energy are not always accurate. So our aim is to draw attention to the erroneous information.”
Your Energy, owned by an Bahamas-based investment firm, insists its figures add up as an average turbine generates nearly 4,000 megawatts per hour in a year.
A petition is set to be launched by NoWAY in protest at the windfarm plans and it is also producing a newsletter and are currently arranging a meeting with local politicians.
By Simon Ward
20 March 2008
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