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Ambitious plans for 45m-high wind turbines costing £2.5m at Aberystwyth University unveiled

Aberystwyth University has put forward proposals to generate its own wind energy under a £2.5m project.

The scheme would include three turbines and would help protect the institution from future increases in energy costs.

If constructed, the three 250kw turbines could generate enough electricity to meet up to 10% of the university’s current annual electricity needs and save a significant predicted amount in running costs over the 20-year life of the turbines.

The initiative, dubbed the Aberystwyth University Sustainable Future project, would also assist in meeting targets to reduce carbon emissions and provide a teaching resource for students to access as part of their studies.

The university is undertaking a feasibility study to establish what the planning and business requirements would be for developing the scheme.

University pro vice-chancellor Rebecca Davies said: “Our requirement for energy and the price of electricity are both rising. Generating our own renewable, carbon-neutral energy is a fantastic way of helping the university meet both of these challenges over the coming years. It makes economical and environmental sense.

“The turbines would form part of a wider commitment from the university to save energy and reduce our carbon emissions. This includes investment in insulation, energy-efficient boilers and heating systems, low-energy lighting, photovoltaic panels and solar thermal technology.”

If constructed the turbines would be located in two sites owned by the university; one on land next to the A487 at the Penglais Student Village development approaching Aberystwyth and two on land opposite Gogerddan Campus next to the A4159.

The turbines would measure 30m in height to the hub, with a total height of 45m to the tip of each blade.

Members of the public are invited to find out more about the project at the foyer of the university’s Old College site from January 28 to February 6, at the Students’ Union from February 9 to 13, and at the foyer of IBERS on the Gogerddan Campus from February 16 to 25. A member of the Aberystwyth University Sustainable Future team will be available to talk to members of the public about the project from between noon and 2pm at each location.

Ms Davies added: “We want to engage with people from the student community, Aberystwyth town, and the wider Ceredigion area on this proposal.”

The university may submit planning applications for the two sites in the spring.

A decision from Ceredigion council’s planning committee is anticipated in the autumn, and if positive, construction could begin in spring next year.