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More consultation over massive expansion of Wirral off-shore windfarm  

Credit:  By Craig Manning, Wirral Globe, www.wirralglobe.co.uk 16 April 2012 ~~

A second round of consultation over plans for a massive expansion of a Wirral coastal windfarm takes place this week.

In May of last year a scheme for the expansion of the Burbo Bank wind farm showed turbines with blades that will sweep an area bigger than Wembley Stadium while the overall structures will be taller than the London Gherkin.

Denmark-based Dong Energy unveiled its proposals seeking to quadruple the size of the windfarm four miles off the coast.

The development would mean the off-shore plant could be capable of generating 250 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 170,000 homes.

The turbines have a “hub height” of 110 metres and a rotor diameter of 164 metres.

That means the overall height of the structure will be a towering 192 metres or 630ft.

The Gherkin – the popular nickname for the futuristic office block opened in 2004 at London’s St Mary Axe – stands at 180 metres, 591ft.

The pitch at Wembley with a width of 69 metres would be dwarfed by the rotor blades’ diameter.

A spokesman for the company said the meetings aim to address queries or concerns people have and that the “Burbo Bank Extension Team” will be there to discuss their proposals and listen to the opinions of the local community.

Because the extension will have the capacity of more than 100 megawatts, it is considered to be a “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project” and so its future will be decided in Westminster.

Any application for such a large scheme in England and Wales is now considered by the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

The IPC works with a wide range of public bodies which are “statutory consultees” in the new process.

This includes local authorities which can “provide feedback.”

The Secretary of State will make the final decision on the plan.

Project development manager Ferdinando Giammichele said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to explain our plans, discuss them with local people and listen to everyone’s ideas and opinions as we go through the final development stage.

The first consultation takes place at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on Wednesday, April 18, from 1pm to 7pm.

There is also one taking place at Hoylake Community Centre in Hoyle Road, Hoylake on Saturday. April 21, from 10am to 4pm.

The meetings are the second and final phase of public consultation following similar events last June.

Source:  By Craig Manning, Wirral Globe, www.wirralglobe.co.uk 16 April 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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