Wind farm firm backs its vision

By James HoreTHE company behind an ambitious plan for an offshore wind farm for the region has vowed to see the project through to completion. GE Wind Energy hopes to build a renewable energy scheme on Gunfleet Sands, a sandbank about 6km from Clacton.

By James Hore

THE company behind an ambitious plan for an offshore wind farm for the region has vowed to see the project through to completion.

GE Wind Energy hopes to build a renewable energy scheme on Gunfleet Sands, a sandbank about 6km from Clacton.

But recent reports indicated the Government could have problems finding financial backing for its vision of producing 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2010.

The British Wind Energy Association has been negotiating with financiers to ensure investor confidence.

The Gunfleet wind farm, which would include 30 wind turbines and a sub-station, could be visible from the shore on a clear day - and may become a tourist attraction.

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If built, the giant offshore energy machines would have blades 250ft high and 390ft in diameter.

It would provide enough electricity for about 85,000 homes and save 317,315 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

But the project is still awaiting the final go-ahead and the scheme's backers have yet to seek outside financial support.

However, GE Gunfleet Ltd said it remained confident the project could still go ahead.

A spokesman said: “We have permission from Tendring District Council for the on-shore works and we are totally committed to developing it.

“We will go and seek financial support, but we do not anticipate a problem as GE is a triple rated company.

“However, we have not got to that stage of the development yet - the number one priority at the moment is the permitting.”

Tendring district councillors have already agreed the electricity generating wind farm would not have a negative impact on the area.

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry's office is currently considering the latest stage of the application.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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