Plans to build a wind farm near Yarm continue to attract raging debate.
Broadview Energy held a series of public exhibitions over its proposal to build five turbines between the villages of Hilton and Seamer.
Protest group, Seamer and Hilton Windfarm Action Group said that during the consultation events, data on the local weather station showed the wind speed was below 5mph.
“In other words, not strong enough to generate any electricity from wind turbines,” they said.
“Had Broadview relied on wind power, their display boards would have been left in the dark and they wouldn’t have been able to make their cups of tea.
“This point does underline a serious issue: wind is intermittent and unreliable and cannot produce abundant, on-demand electricity.”
The protesters said 179 residents of Seamer and Hilton attended the exhibitions, of whom 169 signed a petition against the proposal.
Concerns include visual impact, affect on property prices and air traffic safety.
Broadview Energy however, said “objective” questionnaires showed 51% of people were in support of the development, 38% were against and 11% were undecided.
Jeff Corrigan, director of Broadview Energy, said: “We were pleased with the response and many attendees, both for and against the project, commented that it was an open, honest and detailed presentation of the project.
“We are aware that an action group has been set up to oppose the project. Earlier in the year we attempted to meet with the group to discuss their concerns. They refused to meet with us, which was very disappointing.”
Regarding wind power at the site, Mr Corrigan said: “Our analysis shows this site has a strong wind resource and will be capable of supplying the equivalent of 8,000 households with clean, renewable electricity.
“The project’s sole source of revenue will be the sale of this renewable electricity and we would not be making the £10m-plus investment if we were not confident about the wind resource and levels of generation.” Mr Corrigan urged anyone who would like to discuss the project to contact the company.
by Naomi Corrigan, Evening Gazette
18 June 2008
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