Isle of Wight green power bid backed

By Martin Neville

Sunday, December 15, 2013


CONTROVERSIAL plans for a green energy plant on the edge of an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) are being recommended for conditional approval.

As previously reported, Arreton Parish Council has voiced concerns about the anaerobic digestion plant, for land opposite Gore Cemetery, previously used for motocross events.

The process converts low-value crops, which are grown anyway to re-fertilise fields and currently have to be disposed of, into bio-methane, which is then piped into the gas grid.

The application is due to go to the Isle of Wight Council planning committee on Tuesday.

The project is being spearheaded by Wight Farm Energy LLP, a partnership made up of six Island family farm businesses, with IW Grain, which has more than 50 farming members.

The development, which would generate up to 1.5MW of heat energy per year, would be screened by a four-metre-high planted earth bund and by the topography of the landscape itself, according to the committee report.

A new entrance with a 35-metre junction would be created 30m to the north of the existing southern access to the site.

Neither the council’s environmental health officer, the Environment Agency, Natural England or the AONB Partnership have objected to the scheme but have issued advice.

The plans have attracted 22 objections, including from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, as well as letters of support from the NFU.

The committee report said: "It is considered the development would not harm the amenity of residential properties as a result of visual impact or noise, light or odour and that the development would be served by a safe and suitable means of access."

• Proposals to demolish the 19th-century Broadway Centre and Los Altos buildings, Sandown, and replace them with a community centre and five houses, have been recommended for rejection by planning officers.



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Displaying the last 10 of 27 comments - Show All Comments

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by Tim Muncaster

18th December 2013, at 07:58:38

BTW, again. Methane is given off by all decomposing organic material. 'Bio methane' is a misleading term. Just methane will do. And methane is a far worse gas than carbon dioxide in terms of the greenhouse effect. It makes a lot of sense to capture the (inevitable) methane giving off by the decomposing vegetation and burn it. (That's just to disabuse those who will say we shouldn't be burning the gas).

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by Tim Muncaster

17th December 2013, at 19:03:19

Still awake Colin? I hope that's clear. If not let me know and I'll try another way.

BTW The plant for Arreton is just and enclosed compost heap. It makes sense (to me) to capture the gas that is always given off by rotting vegetation. Should be unobtrusive and capture the smell!

This proposal has nothing to do with solar panels, though the forum has wandered off in that direction.

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by Tim Muncaster

17th December 2013, at 18:56:46

Colin, here's what you asked for. The Watt (W) is the unit used to tell you how much energy is produced or used per second. For example, your kettle uses energy at the rate of about 3000 W - or 3kW. The total amount of energy used depends on how long you leave the kettle running. So, you use a lot more energy to heat a full kettle than a nearly empty one. The power is the same but it takes longer. The common unit for energy (on your electricity bill) is kWhr. That's 1 kW of power running for 1 hour.

In the case of a plant like the one proposed, you have to measure the energy in kWhr (or another unit of energy). It won't produced 1 MW (1 million Watts) of energy per year. Watts are not units of energy. If it produces 1 MWhr per year, that's not bad.

I'm not just being pedantic either. The CP run lots of stories about energy projects (e.g. the sewage plant, the solar farm) and get the units wrong. The predictions and benefits are meaningless with the figures given.

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by Scott Angles

17th December 2013, at 17:50:46

'See this report by Fox News' - you may as well say 'read this horoscope and then take a wild stab in the dark'.

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by Don Prescott

17th December 2013, at 16:41:27

the proliferation of solar panels will slow down as their viability decreases.
See this report by Fox News:

which says "the Abound Solar plant, which got $400 million in federal loan guarantees in 2010, when the Obama administration sought to use stimulus funds to promote green energy, filed for bankruptcy two years later. Now its Longmont, Colo., facility sits unoccupied, its 37,000 square feet littered with hazardous waste, broken glass and contaminated water."
and yet we still have these half-baked local Councillors and "green" charity CEOs spouting rubbish about shale gas, whilst supporting PVs and wind farms.
Have a walk up Castle Court in Ventnor and see how PVs blot the landscape - right in your face!

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by Russell Palin

17th December 2013, at 08:38:10

They will have to hurry up with this application as soon there will be no room at all, the solar panels are multiplying that fast in the fields near by...

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by Colin Russell

17th December 2013, at 00:31:16

Mr Muncaster, please enlighten us, best to deal in facts,, dont you think.

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by Scott Angles

16th December 2013, at 23:31:51

The lolz? The lolz.

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by rodney burt

16th December 2013, at 23:27:15

The iow is already a green and pleasant place why spoil it

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by Tim Muncaster

16th December 2013, at 12:57:48

Mr Editor, once again the IWCP has got the units of energy wrong. With so many stories about energy appearing, it really is time you got it right. Lots of comments but the facts in the story are wrong.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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