Plans to build a wind turbine near Braintree have been abandoned in light of government spending cuts.
Braintree District Council had intended to develop a single large wind turbine at Great Notley Country Park. As well as reducing carbon emissions it would also generate income for the community to protect and maintain public services.
The 1.5MW wind turbine would replace the 1,350 tonnes of carbon dioxide currently used per annum, equivalent to providing the electricity requirements for over 800 homes.
The cost of setting-up the project was estimated at £2.4 million, including the technical and environmental studies, the planning application, civil works and purchase, construction and commissioning of the turbine.
Studies of wind availability and turbine performance indicated a potential annual revenue return of £230,000 to £260,000 after taking off costs for insurance and maintenance – approximately a 10% return on the investment for the next 25 years.
Construction of the 85metre turbine, was planned to begin in November 2013.
However, on Friday the Council announced that the plans are to go on hold as uncertainty grows on the anticipated funding from the government’s feed-in tariff scheme for renewable energy projects.
The Council has also had to suspend its public consultation exercise which was launched in December.
Leader of Braintree District Council Graham Butland said: “It would be wrong to continue to seek public views on our proposal to put a wind turbine at Great Notley Country Park when we are becoming increasingly uncertain of whether it would be financially viable.
“I am also concerned about the differing views on appropriate distances of wind turbines from residential properties as nationally there is still a lot of debate on this. Therefore we are putting the wind turbine project on hold so we have more time to research and clarify these key issues before considering the future of this project.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those people who visited the exhibition and sent in their comments; the consultation exercise to date has been informative, but I think it is right to now bring it to a close as the Council itself has some key issues to consider before we commit any more resources to this project.
“I want to be assured we are doing the right thing.”
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