Sunday, 12 February 2012

Straid wind farm # 13

Right of the end of January, ecotricity submitted their planning application for the proposed wind farm at Straid Farm, although the application has only just become available online. The details of the planning application can be found here.

A quick scan of the Environmental Statement makes interesting reading. First of all, the grid connection will be at Mark Hill - some 9.5km from the proposed site. Presumably then, yet another set of power lines will have to be installed from the wind farm to MArk Hill. It should be noted however that the grid connection lines are not part of this planning application. Also of interest is the maximum operational wind velocity for the model of turbine being proposed: 25ms or 56 mph in old money. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, since the promotional leaflets handed out by ecotricity stated that they were going to use direct drive turbines (they are after all, cheaper to buy and maintain than those with gearboxes). I wonder how often these things will be standing idle if they are consented?

Further interesting pieces of data from the Environmental Statement from this proposed development include over 4,000 HGV lorry journeys (excluding turbine delivery), 7 km of new access track, and for the foundations plinths 4,354m3 of structural concrete (which equates to nearly 10,500 tonnes) and a total of 1,078 tonnes of steel reinforcing. Green things these wind farms aren't they?

The link above takes you directly to the planning application where you can leave your comments. Here is the non-technical summary of the application (with a nice photomontage of the proposal on the front cover). At the back of the document is a Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV) diagram for the development - but do note that this particular ZTV does not include any operational turbines or any turbines from the 4 other wind farm planning applications currently under consideration for the area.

From this point forward the really interesting part begins - and over time we will start to get a measure of the support (or lack of it) for this particular development.