Work starts on massive wind turbine
A LANDMARK wind turbine is finally being built at Britain's most easterly mainland point, two years after the project was given planning permission.Work began yesterday on industrial land south of Ness Point, Lowestoft, on installing a 126m tall wind turbine – 30m taller than Norwich Cathedral's spire and 32m short of the Blackpool Tower.
A LANDMARK wind turbine is finally being built at Britain's most easterly mainland point, two years after the project was given planning permission.
Work began yesterday on industrial land south of Ness Point, Lowestoft, on installing a 126m tall wind turbine - 30m taller than Norwich Cathedral's spire and 32m short of the Blackpool Tower.
The turbine will supply 1,530 homes with energy when it becomes operational in January 2005, making it the tallest and largest onshore producer of wind power in the country.
A special company, Ness Point, was set up to manage the construction and operation of the turbine by Sea and Land Power and Energy (SLP), the company behind the development.
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Managing director of Ness Point, David Edwards, said: "The wind turbine heralds the start of a new commitment to sustainable business and renewable energy for the region.
"We are extremely pleased to be building the first multi-megawatt wind turbine in Suffolk."
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Waveney MP, Bob Blizzard, started the construction work with the help of UK contractor Birse Civils.
He said: "The turbine will be a real and active symbol that will mark Lowestoft's position as the wind industry capital of England.
"I'm delighted work is now starting. It's absolutely essential we go down the renewable energy route in a big way."
Lowestoft was chosen as a location for a turbine because of its windy weather - according to the British Wind Energy Association, the UK is the windiest country in Europe - but if the wind stops blowing, electricity will continue to come from other generators, such as gas.
The electricity generated will feed into the local grid via a substation near the site before it is fed into the national grid. Ness Point Ltd has consulted with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which agrees the turbine will not have any significant impact on the local bird population, and the company also stresses that noise levels from the turbine will be low.
Ness Point has already been earmarked by Waveney District Council for a £6million research and development centre for offshore renewable energy operating in 2007, with funding hopefully coming from Europe, the East of England Development Agency and local councils.
Steven Wood, portfolio manager for regeneration, tourism and leisure at Waveney District Council, said: "We will build the centre as close to the most easterly point of Britain and as close to the wind turbine as we can without affecting its performance."
He added Cambridge University and University of East Anglia were also interested in joining the project and the council would also be working for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in Lowestoft.