Plans have been unveiled by the RSPB today (Friday)to build a wind turbine at its UK headquarters in Sandy.
The RSPB believes that renewable energy is an essential tool in the fight against climate change, which poses the single biggest threat to the long term survival of birds and wildlife.
It has joined forces with green energy company, Ecotricity, and a planning application has been submitted for a meteorological mast to be erected close to the charity’s head offices at The Lodge nature reserve.
If the site is found to be suitable, the proposed wind turbine will be erected, at the earliest, in autumn 2013 and will measure 100m at its highest point.
Paul Forecast, director of the RSPB in the East, said: “Having researched our UK landholdings, it is clear that The Lodge is the most suitable location for a turbine.
“Current modelling suggests that a turbine located at our site in Bedfordshire could produce over two thirds of the RSPB’s total UK electricity needs, putting us well on the way to meeting our target to reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
“We hope that by siting a wind turbine at our UK headquarters, we will demonstrate to others that with a thorough environmental assessment, the correct planning and location, renewable energy options like this one in Sandy and a healthy, thriving environment can go hand in hand.”
Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director said: “We are keen to promote the use of wind energy where it does not result in unacceptable impacts to wildlife and we are confident that this is a suitable location to do so.
“We know that with the right design and location wind turbines have little or no impact on wildlife.”
The RSPB has commented on more than 1,500 wind farm applications. In the small number of cases – around six per cent – where we feel there is likely to be a significant impact on wildlife we have lodged an objection. In many of these cases the developers have listened and redesigned their plans to make sure they do not threaten wildlife.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “Our mission is to change where Britain’s energy comes from because this is our biggest single source of the carbon emissions that cause climate change.
“It’s essential that wind energy projects provide their vital environmental benefits with the minimum environmental impact. To ensure this, we conduct detailed studies on up to 27 different areas of potential impact such as health and safety, cultural heritage and wildlife. Our aim is to ensure that any wind project we build will be a good neighbour, for people and for wildlife, for the entire lifetime of operation.”