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Dorset coast site for wind farm chosen

A site off the Dorset coast has been chosen for a massive wind farm.

It has been estimated that the £1billion wind farm could create up to 2,300 jobs with 300 new posts on Portland if the plans go ahead.

Portland is one of the ports being looked at as a supply and construction site for the farm in what would be a massive boost to the local economy.

But Dutch energy company Eneco says it is unlikely that one port alone will be chosen as its onshore base.

The company has spent the past year exploring the seabed west of the Isle of Wight to identify a suitable location for the farm and has now earmarked an area which at its closest point would be 8.2 miles off of Peveril Point, Swanage.

The 76 square mile site would accommodate between 150 and 240 turbines and generate enough renewable power for between 615,000 and 820,000 homes.

Some of the turbines may be seen from the Purbeck coast.

The decision on the location was reached after a study was conducted in accordance with guidance from the Crown Estate.

Eneco now plans to hold public information days including showing images of what the turbines would look like from the coast.

Operations manager for the Eneco wind farm Stuart Grant said the company had been assessing a number of ports as potential sites to construct the turbines and act as a supply hub for the wind farm.

These include Portland, Poole, Southampton, smaller ports such as Lymington on the Isle of Wight.

Mr Grant said: “At this stage it’s too early to make any decisions but certainly more than one port would be required to build this site.

“This year we will be information gathering and working with ports and harbour authorities. Of course final contracts can’t be made until we have consent.

“Portland is about 26 miles away from the site. It has a large natural harbour, it’s a commercial port and it’s on our doorstep so we see it as part of the mix.

“But we can’t say one port would be used for all our needs.

“We have a good relationship with Portland Port – they’re very good at selling themselves.”

Dispslay dates

ENECO will be holding a series of public information days in March. In Dorset these will be held at the following venues.

* Weymouth: Pavilion Theatre, Wednesday, March 16.

* Poole: RNLI Lifeboat College, Thursday, March 17.

* Christchurch: Regent Centre, Friday, March 25.

* Bournemouth: Pavilion Theatre, Wednesday, March 30.

* Swanage: Mowlem Theatre, Thursday, March 31.