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Airtricity says seeks to sell off its holdings

Irish wind farm operator Airtricity said on Thursday it had decided to sell off its remaining holdings after announcing last month the disposal of its North American operations to Germany's E.ON. Airtricity said in a statement it had undertaken a review of the strategic options for the remainder of its business following the $1.4 billion deal with E.ON. "This review has resulted in a decision to commence the process for the sale of Airtricity Holdings Ltd," the statement said. "The process is due to be completed by mid 2008."
22 Nov 2007

Windmills not for turning

A CONTROVERSIAL wind turbine farm, at Lowca, has ground to a halt. One turbine has not turned since January and the other six have been out of action for more than a week. Under planning conditions the operators of the windfarm, E.on, are obliged to dismantle and remove any turbines that have not worked for six months. Neighbouring Allerdale planners will decide later this month what action to take against energy giant E.on for failing to ensure that another of its turbines at Oldside keeps on turning. E.on says all need new parts but they are unobtainable. ..."Obviously we don't want to have to take down turbines, it is just that worldwide demand for spare parts is so great."
22 Nov 2007

RAF experts object to Middlemoor wind farm plan

RAF defence experts have made strong objections to a proposed 18 turbine wind farm at Middlemoor, near North Charlton, as a public inquiry continued this week. The Ministry of Defence is concerned the 125 metre high turbines would be in direct line of sight with and create unacceptable interference with the air defence radar at Brizlee Wood, near Alnwick. Squadron Leader Chris Breedon, one of the country's leading air defence experts speaking on behalf of the MoD, raised serious concerns about the possible effects of the turbines on national security.
22 Nov 2007

Wandylaw wind farm developers to appeal

WIND farm developers are to lodge an appeal against Berwick Borough Council's refusal of its 10 turbine scheme near Ellingham. RidgeWind's proposal for Wandylaw was turned down by councillors last month even though planning officers had recommended approval. ...There was also a late reversal by the Ministry of Defence who objected to Wandylaw just before the hearing, despite having issued three letters of no objection in the prior 18 months. "During the appeal process, we will continue to work hard to counter misleading information about wind farms we have seen recently which only deflect reasoned discussion away from the genuine merits of the project," said Mr Goodhew.
22 Nov 2007

Experts to ban wind farms from West Mayo

THERE was a large turnout for last Wednesday night's public meeting to discuss the Draft Wind Energy Strategy which forms part of the draft Mayo County Development Plan. ...A line running North- South down the centre of the county shows that no permission will be given for wind farms in the West of the county even though this is where the highest winds speeds are found and where it would be most economically viable to set up a wind turbine. This draft plan had been prepared by experts in Dublin who were attempting to preserve the scenic beauty of the West of the county and to protect the peat lands in the area.
21 Nov 2007

Gulliver shut down for safety precaution

A lightning strike on the Lowestoft wind turbine has resulted in it being out of action for the past four weeks, it emerged yesterday. Although it suffered damage in a storm during the summer it has now been discovered that it has suffered minor damage to one of the tips and has been shut down for safety reasons. The giant 120-metre landmark, known as Gulliver, was hit during the thunderstorm on June 8.
21 Nov 2007

Birdlife condition attached to wind mast approval

Councillors have agreed to allow a Caithness renewable energy company to continue gathering wind data – but insisted on a special condition to protect birdlife. ...The condition aimed at safeguarding birdlife was suggested by Councillor David Bremner, Landward Caithness, who found support when he suggested that inspection of the bird deflectors on the mast should take place on a weekly basis as opposed to the three-month period suggested by the planning service. Mr Bremner said: "I am no expert but there is quite a lot of activity in that area, particularly when the whooper swans are migrating. I don't think it would be unreasonable to ask for a more rigorous condition."
21 Nov 2007

Security at risk from turbines

NATIONAL security would be compromised if a wind farm was built on a Northumberland moor, a public inquiry was told yesterday. Ministry of Defence experts objecting to proposals to erect 18 turbines at Middlemoor, at South Charlton near Alnwick, said the 125 metre high structures would be in the direct line of sight of RAF Boulmer's Brizlee Wood air defence radar. The fifth day of the hearing was told that as a result the structures would interfere with the radar's ability to detect enemy aircraft. Squadron Leader Chris Breedon, an MoD expert on defence radars, told the inquiry at Alnwick's Northumberland Hall: "I believe that the proposed wind farm at Middlemoor will have a significant adverse impact on the efficacy of the radar at Brizlee Wood.
21 Nov 2007

First onshore wind farm gets go-ahead

SUFFOLK's first onshore wind farm has been given the final go-ahead and work will begin next year, it has been announced. But campaigners against the wind farm at Parham said they were taking legal advice in a bid to stop the development. Planning permission had been granted in July last year but in recent months, developer Your Energy had asked for a modification to the plans, which would have involved longer blades on the turbines. ...John Constable, chairman of the local residents' group No Wind Farm at Parham (Nowap), said the council had "rushed through" consent without putting a variation in the plans to the council's development control committee.
20 Nov 2007

Windpower firm expands onto mainland

A Shetland-based green energy firm has branched out onto the Scottish mainland by setting up a new distribution and training centre, near Stirling. Shetland Windpower has become one of only 10 UK suppliers of domestic wind turbines from Kilmarnock company Proven Energy.
20 Nov 2007

Wind farm objection goes to court

A judge has said he will study evidence supplied by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Highland Council before deciding on a wind farm plan. Engineering group Amec has planning permission from Highland Council for 18 turbines at Edinbane on Skye. Campaign group Skye Wind Farm Action Group (Swag) has sought a judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh of the authority's approval. A written judgement will be given at a later date.
20 Nov 2007

Wind farm delayed - by wind

Work on a £50m wind farm has suffered a blow before it has even started - because of high winds. The first shipments of parts being delivered from Germany to the Scout Moor site above Rochdale were delayed by severe North Sea gales, the M.E.N. can reveal. As a result, twice the number of lorries will travel through the small village of Edenfield on the first delivery day tomorrow. The controversial wind farm, given the go-ahead after a public inquiry, will have 26 turbines, each two-thirds the size of Blackpool Tower. A convoy of three lorries a day are due to deliver parts in coming months.
20 Nov 2007

Wind masts to stay in place

Two 165ft-high wind monitors could stay on a Northeast hillside for three more years even though the land they stand on is considered unsuitable. The masts, one on Cloiche Dubh and the other on Black Hill, were erected in 2003 to gather data for a proposed windfarm at Clashindarroch Forest near Huntly. Scottish Ministers ruled that the land was not suitable for a renewable energy development. But now council planners have backed two separate proposals to keep the masts in place to allow for further information gathering.
19 Nov 2007

Decision day looms for Brent Knoll wind farm

THE final decision on whether a controversial wind farm near Brent Knoll will be given the go ahead is expected to be announced on Friday. After months of planning meetings and appeal inquiries the planning inspectorate will announce whether or not five wind turbines will be built at a farm off Stoddens Lane. ...The nearest village is Brent Knoll, which is 600m north-east of the proposed site. Several residents of the village were present throughout the entire appeal and the 40 stalwarts were personally thanked by Mr Brookes at the close of the inquiry.
19 Nov 2007

Roads to close for wind turbines

The large parts are being brought to the site of the new windfarm on Scout Moor, near Edenfield, Lancashire. Several roads will close for up to 30 minutes between 1000 and 1400 GMT every Monday to Saturday for six months. ...Local people had objected to the windfarm, fearing problems with increased traffic, damage to an untouched landscape and the noise of the turbines as their blades turn in the wind. A statement from Peel Holdings, who is behind the site, said: "This route was considered during the public inquiry and deemed to be appropriate by the Planning Inspector, and subsequently approved by the Secretary of State.
19 Nov 2007

Developers to appeal on Conwy Valley windfarm

DEVELOPERS may press on with plans for a controversial 12-turbine windfarm in North Wales even though a council rejected it this week, it emerged yesterday. Conwy councillors threw out the proposed Mwdwl Eithin scheme in Cerrigydrudion against the advice of officers, who recommended it for approval. ...Clwyd West AM Darren Millar welcomed Conwy councillors' refusal of the scheme which is in his constituency. Mr Millar, the Assembly shadow minister for the environment and planning, said: "This is great news for the countryside. The decision not to grant the application went against the recommendation of local authority planning officers, but represented the views of the majority of local residents.
17 Nov 2007

National security 'under threat'

A WIND farm planned for moors near Alnwick could jeopardise national security, according to Ministry of Defence counter-terrorism experts. Wing Commander Rayna Owens, whose duties include protecting the UK against airborne attacks, will present her evidence at the Middlemoor public inquiry, now being held at the Northumberland Hall, Alnwick. She will be accompanied by Squadron Leader Chris Breedon, one of a handful of experts in air defence, who will state the MoD's objections to the plan. ...In statements already submitted to the inquiry, Sqn Ldr Breedon states: "The 18 wind turbines would be in direct line of sight of the radar at RRH Brizlee Wood, an important element of the UK Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS).
17 Nov 2007

Thousands say no to windfarm

"An application has been submitted to Inverclyde Council by Community Windpower Limited for a windfarm consisting of 10 410-ft-high turbines. "This is only 600 metres from Hill Farm residencies in Inverkip and the internationally-renowned Everton Scout Camp, which is used throughout the year by groups from the UK and throughout the world. This application is both within the greenbelt and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park." A petition with thousands of signatures on it was delivered to the Scottish Government on Tuesday.
17 Nov 2007

First turbine looms over future farm

After years of debate over the controversial wind farm and approval granted two years ago, construction has begun. It dominates the Louth Marsh landscape and the view from the Wolds. All 20 turbines are expected to be in place and operating early in the New Year. ...There were 137 letters of protest to the proposal and ELDC's Planning Committee initially refused the application. The controversial site was deemed hazardous to aircraft radar and military jets using RAF Donna Nook bombing range. Councillors also agreed that the visual impact on the Louth Marsh detracted from the spire of St James' Church, Louth.
17 Nov 2007

Iconic and mystical views would be affected - claim

MAGICAL, mystical and iconic views could be affected if a proposed wind farm in Northumberland is allowed to go ahead, a public inquiry heard yesterday. On day four of the public inquiry into an application to build 18 wind turbines at South Charlton near Alnwick, anti-wind-farm campaigners again clashed with experts speaking on behalf of nPower. ...Mr Stevenson said: "These turbines will introduce an element of dynamism into the environment. There is some evidence from other turbine sites that they become popular and may even become tourist attractions themselves."
17 Nov 2007

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