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South West Water consults on Cornish wind turbines

South West Water has held public consultation events about its plans to install wind turbines at two treatment works in Cornwall.

The utility wants to erect the small turbines at Stithians Water Treatment Works and Newquay Sewage Treatment Works, in order to help reduce operational costs and carbon emissions and ensure customer bills are kept as low as possible. South West Water has a stated ambition of sourcing 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020; currently this figure stands at around 10%.

Each turbine is planned to be 225kW in power, to stand 40 metres high when measured to its hub or 58 metres when measured to the tip of its top blade. Stithians Water Treatment Works is situated near the village of Little Lansenmeth and Tretheague while Newquay Sewage Treatment Works is near Tregair and St Newlyn East.

The consultation events held in Stithians and St Newlyn East about the plans were well attended by residents. Feedback from both events is now being analysed by the project team, and technical studies are continuing to inform the final design. Planning applications are expected to be submitted to Cornwall Council later in the summer.

South West Water operates over 60 renewable energy installations – including hydro electric power, wind, solar and biogas. However, the effective removal of Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) incentives by the government has meant that the economics of new schemes are considerably more challenging.

The utility recently reviewed 22 of its operational sites to see whether small wind turbines could help to reduce overall energy costs. Of these, nine were discounted for technical reasons and 11 due to environmental constraints such as potential effects on the landscape, ecology and archaeology.

The two sites in Cornwall were found to be the only ones where a wind turbine would help to meet operational energy demand, be environmentally acceptable and cost effective.

Further details of both schemes can be found at www.southwestwater.co.uk/wind

Author: James Brockett,
Topic: Energy/Water Nexus
Tags: wind turbines , planning , energy , South West Water

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