Wind farm impact underplayed, Isle of Wight Council officers claim

By Martin Neville

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Wind farm impact underplayed, Isle of Wight Council officers claim

A Navitus Bay image of how they claim the turbines will look.

NAVITUS Bay developers have "underplayed" the impact the offshore wind farm would have on the Island’s renowned sea and landscapes, according to Isle of Wight Council officers.

A report on controversial £3 billion proposals to build up to 194 wind turbines around 11 miles off the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight is to be considered by the authority’s planning committee next Tuesday.

The planning application is with the Planning Inspectorate, which will make the final decision following consultation with bodies including the Isle of Wight Council.

The officer report said while the council recognised the significant amount of clean renewable energy the development would generate, the visual impact from parts of the Island’s coastline would be significant and negative.

These included seascapes between St Catherine’s Point and the Needles, as well as the chalk downs — designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and heritage coast.

However, the report added the development could deliver significant economic benefits to the Island, including jobs and work for local companies and recommends the committee does not object to the scheme but requests more information on noise and the potential impact on ecology, including migratory birds and seabirds.

As previously reported, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has raised serious concerns the wind farm could compromise views of the Island from Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.



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Displaying the last 10 of 18 comments - Show All Comments

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by Steve Smith

18th July 2014, at 06:11:11

Only on boats then he moved to the centre of England and wondered why there was no work for marine engineers. Makes one wonder at his competence at anything!

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by Tim Muncaster

16th July 2014, at 18:29:30

Inain McKie - your credentials are impressive. So how on earth did you get the units and facts so wrong?

Mike Crowe. Yes, there are many ways of storing energy and balancing the grid. Google it. There are some great (and not so great)projects out there. Hey, I'm sure you were/are an electrical engineer??

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by Pat Adams

16th July 2014, at 17:33:50

Sorry Mr Crowe, I was assuming that with his superlative knowledge on the subject that Mr McKie would be able to fill you in on the processes involved in grid energy storage. It is far too involved and boring for a mere mortal like me to attempt to explain. Google it if you are that sceptical / interested / NIMBYistic.

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by Iain McKie

16th July 2014, at 15:14:18

Dear Pat Adams, I was head of carbon emissions trading at one of the largest banks, and then at one of Europe's largest power companies. That, and my postgraduate thesis on low carbon energy policy is where my information comes from.

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by Mike Crowe

16th July 2014, at 15:07:04

Pat Adams, can you please explain how one can 'bank' or 'store' that type of electricity?

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by Pat Adams

16th July 2014, at 15:03:08

Mr McKie also seems to misunderstand that electricity can be 'banked' or stored until needed. Traditional carbon belching power stations are also unproductive for a certain proportion of time yet we do not sit in darkness. I would not expect Mr McKie to be au fait with the facts though - he is a follower of UKIP. Make it up as you go along. Say what folk want to hear. Except that you and your fellow kippers have been sussed!

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by Tim Muncaster

16th July 2014, at 13:42:45

Ian McK
I'm not much in favour of wind turbines; I think there are better technologies to harvest energy. However, I don't like to see debate clouded by misinformation. First, the unit of power is GW, not GW/h. If you don't understand the units, you really should not be debating energy issues.You rightly observe that other means of energy generation are needed for when the wind doesn't blow but you are wrong in saying an equal capacity power station has to be kept on 'spinning standby'. The grid takes energy from many sources and balances the supply to the load. Put simply, when the turbines are working, less fuel needs to be burned elsewhere.

The figure of 5 million kg of CO2 per year you quote is for a 1GW gas turbine power station running continuously at full power. On standby, a gas turbine power station emits - nothing. They stop and can be brought up to full power in minutes. Scaremongering?
(I still don't like turbines :-))

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by Roger Grey

16th July 2014, at 12:52:31

As Bryan says
"I am more than happy to see these turbines built as they will power 700,000 homes according to Navitus - but as a condition I would also like to see that 700,000 green supporters sign an agreement to receive their power only based on what Navitus produces. "
And of course those supporters will be paying the true cost of building and operating them, rather than being subsidised by the rest of us.
Fair's fair.

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by sean gage

16th July 2014, at 12:48:24

Nothing being said about the generation of extra low frequency acoustic noise by this array and its possible health effects on Islanders.

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by Iain McKie

16th July 2014, at 12:05:26

Assuming that the project is expected to deliver its installed capacity of 1 GW/h, this park will require two gas fired gas stations (each 400-500 MW/h) to run on spinning reserve in case the wind doesn't blow. This will generate 5,000,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

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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