A new wind farm in Britain has just been given the go-ahead. It will cost £365 million and will be the largest farm in the UK. Not surprisingly it has faced a huge amount of opposition.
According to the article in UK tabloid the Daily Mail, the wind turbines will be some of the highest in Europe, as each will stand 475 feet tall which is taller than the London Eye. It is hoped the project will produce enough electricity for 206,000 homes, but those opposing the project in South Wales feel it will be a blight on the landscape, and that the cost to the area is far too high.
Locals have complained the wind farm will look ugly and industrial, and will thwart attempts to promote tourism in the area. It is to be developed on rural land stretching over 155 acres of countryside, and will be situated between the towns of Neath and Aberdare. The project received the backing of the energy ministry, and construction by Swedish company Vattenfall is expected to begin in early 2013. In spite of the objections of local residents, the council made the choice not to block the scheme.
The project has received the backing of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Cymru as they feel Vattenfall’s attitude towards nature conservation will be good for the local wildlife. In addition Vattenfall is to implement a benefits package for the local community which is reputed to be worth around £55 million. This includes £3 million for habitat management.
Wind farms are never popular, but they do create cheap and renewable electricity. In addition the wind farm is expected to create or support around 300 jobs in Wales, and the first electricity could be generated as soon as 2016.
Plans to build a £3 billion wind farm near one of Britain’s top tourist attractions are also facing opposition, as it would be visible to visitors along the Dorset and Isle of Wight coastline.