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Study begins into wind farm potential on Scilly

A renewable energy group on the Isles of Scilly is to carry out a feasibility study into the islands’ suitability for small-scale wind farm.

The Isles of Scilly Renewable Energy Cooperative (ISREC) has received £20,000 from the Energy Saving Trust.

The money will be used to assess the islands’ potential and to engage the community in the project.

ISREC’s Jonathan Smith said it was “stupid” that the resource was not being considered already.

Mr Smith said: “The islands have a fantastic onshore-wind resource, probably the best onshore-wind density in England and Wales.

“We want to find out the technical feasibility of installing wind turbines on Scilly, the costs and what the community thinks about having a small scale windfarm here.”

‘Mixed reactions’

The development would be subject to “rigorous planning procedures” as Scilly is an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), he said.

“The scale and siting of any turbine, along with the level of community support, would be critical in making progress,” he explained, adding there had been “mixed reactions”.

“Some people are obviously not so happy about it and wondering what the impact on the landscape will be and others are recognising that we need more renewable energy,” Mr Smith added.

Sykamore Small Wind Company’s, Mark Wisniewski said: “Obviously the area is an AONB, so we need to make sure whatever we come up with works with that and isn’t going to damage the unique nature of the Islands.

“With a 10KW turbine you are talking about something around about 10 to 15 metres which is a tenth of the size of a windfarm turbine, so relatively small.”

Mr Wisneiwski said the feasibility study will be undertaken to find potential sites for the turbines and then a report which will identify certain areas will be drawn up.

“It would then be up to the community to decide if they wanted to invest in their own wind turbine and how they would go about doing it,” he said.