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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Your invitation to Family Open Days at Ovenden Moor Windfarm

E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Ltd are holding family open days at their Ovenden Moor Windfarm ahead of their planning application for larger 115m wind turbines at the site.

Visitors are invited to the event on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th July 2012 between 10am and 16:30pm where as well as taking a tour of the Windfarm, they will be able to go inside one of the existing 48m structures which would be removed if planning was granted, and replaced by new larger turbines which would be almost 2.5 times the height of the existing ones.

This is your opportunity to address the people responsible for wanting to tear up our precious moorland ONCE MORE. Doing it 20 years ago was bad enough, but to come back with the intention of injecting another 40,000 tonnes of concrete into the ground is adding insult to injury, literally.

For more information, or to book your place, please click here for more information.

You may also find it useful to see our last blog on the subject of the repowering of the Ovenden Moor Windfarm by clicking here.

Hundreds all over Yorkshire object to Lone 72m turbine.

Literally hundreds of people from all over Yorkshire have been rallied together to lodge their objections to a lone wind turbine at Wainstalls, Halifax.

The planning application submitted to Calderdale Council in May 2012 by Lower Hazelhurst Farm on Cold Edge Road proposes the construction of a 500kw turbine which would be a total of 72m in height (236 feet).

The site is just over a mile away from the existing Ovenden Moor Windfarm, and just over a mile away from homes in Causeway Foot near Ogden in Halifax. Compared to the existing turbines on Ovenden Moor, the new single turbine would be 50% bigger.

For more information and to lodge your objection, please click here or see our turbine tracker item number 21 by clicking here.

New Addition to the Skyline

Residents of Thornton and Denholme have expressed their shock at a new addition to a prominent local skyline.

Worked commenced last Wednesday (20/06/2012) on the construction of a 34m turbine at Soil Hill. Only the tower has been erected so far, but already local people are talking about how awful it looks, and how it dominates the entire skyline.

Worryingly, the Endurance 50kw turbine at Soil Hill Farm was granted planning permission back in February 2012 by CALDERDALE COUNCIL, not Bradford. The land is in the Calderdale District, but as many people have pointed out, the impact of any turbine approvals in this particular area is seen alot further afield because it is located on a hill which is approximately 400m (1,312ft) above sea level. For reference, this hill is only 20 or so meters smaller than Ovenden Moor, which as many of us know, can be seen for many, many miles!!!

Calderdale Council are currently deciding upon 3 more turbine applications on this very hill, one of which would be 45m tall, which is almost the size of one of the turbines on Ovenden Moor (48m). Further details can be found on our Turbine Tracker by clicking here. Specifically you would be looking at locations 15, 17 and 18. There are website links for each location that will take you straight to the Calderdale Council Planning Portal where you may submit any objections or comments as you wish.20120626-003440.jpg

Keelham Hall Farm Shop Withdraws Turbine Application

Keelham Hall Farm Shop have today withdrawn their planning application for a giant 46m turbine.

Earlier this month, Well Heads Farm did the same with their planning application for 2 more turbines on their land, after starting a company ‘Wellahead Energy Limited’ in preparation for the new additions which would literally have seen Well Heads Farm become a ‘Wind Farm’.

Conversely, Law Farm on Ten Yards Lane have been granted permission for a 25m 2 blade Gaia turbine, and construction has today begun on Soil Hill to erect a 3 bladed 34.2 turbine.

2 new planning applications have been submitted; Laverock Hall Farm on Soil Hill have submitted plans to Calderdale Council for 2 Gaia turbines totalling 25 metres in height. Another property at Ryecroft in Harden has submitted plans to Bradford Council for a 20m Evoco turbine only a few fields away from a property that was refused planning permission for a 25m turbine in November 2011.

Keelham Hall Farm Shop illegally erected a wind anenometer last month without planning permission, and have since been asked to remove it by Bradford Council. They already have planning permission for 2 smaller turbines but have never erected them. Planning permission expired back in April 2012.

The ‘Turbine Tracker’ has been updated to include these developments. Please click on the Turbine Tracker icon on your left to see the detailed map.

Parliament requests submissions on the economics of wind power

The Energy and Climate Change Committee will hold a public evidence session on the Economics of Wind Power at 10.00 am on Tuesday 10 July.

The Committee invites short submissions of evidence with a limit of two A4 sides (see ‘Notes on Submissions’ below). These may contain references or links to other documents and material but should briefly set out the key points.

Evidence should be submitted by 5pm on 27 June. Submissions should contain an indication of whether or not you would like to give oral evidence to the Committee.

Witnesses for the session will be selected on the basis of the submissions received and will be notified on 3 July as to whether they will be called.

The Committee is particularly interested in the following, although written submission need not address all, or be confined to, these questions:

What do cost benefit analyses tell us about onshore and offshore wind compared with other measures to cut carbon?

What do the latest assessments tell us about the costs of generating electricity from wind power compared to other methods of generating electricity?

How do the costs of onshore wind compare to offshore wind?

What are the costs of building new transmission links to wind farms in remote areas and how are these accounted for in cost assessments of wind power?

What are the costs associated with providing back up capacity for when the wind isn’t blowing, and how are these accounted for in cost assessments of wind power?

How much support does wind power receive compared with other forms of renewable energy?

Is it possible to estimate how much consumers pay towards supporting wind power in the UK? (i.e. separating out from other renewables)

What lessons can be learned from other countries?

What methods could be used to make onshore wind more acceptable to communities that host them?

Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Committee, said: “Government policy on wind power should be based on sound economics and engineering, not political pressure from a small vocal minority – whether that be green campaigners or anti-wind protestors.

In this session we want to cut through all the hot air talked about wind power and examine whether the economics really add up.

Wind farms are over forty times less polluting than gas burning power stations – per unit of energy produced – but there are concerns about the costs to consumers.

We will be asking if the Chancellor is right to consider cutting onshore wind power subsidies? And how much these subsidies really add to our electricity bills?

Does it really make financial sense to generate low-carbon electricity from wind? Or are there cheaper ways to cut carbon emissions from our power stations?”

The Committee is participating in a visit to the London Array and Gunfleet Sands Windfarms on 13 June.

Notes on Submissions

Submissions should be in Word or rich text format, please do not use PDF format, and sent by e-mail to ecc@parliament.uk. The e-mail should make clear which organisation or individual the submission is from and include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. Any hard copies should be sent to: The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. The deadline is 5pm on 27 June.

Submissions should be no longer than two A4 sides. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work written for the Committee, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Banks really are coining it in…

…and we don’t mean Banks Rewewables believe it or not!

A simple internet search has revealed that Yorkshire Water is part of the Kelda Group, which was acquired in 2008 by the ‘Saltaire Water Global Infrastructure Fund’.  This entity is a consortium made up of organisations including HSBC, Infracapital, Citigroup and GIC (the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation).

‘So what?’ I hear you ask. Well there are 2 issues to be aware of;

1) Some of the profits being generated now are making their way across to the bankers, some of which aren’t even in this country.  HSBC have already sold their stake to the other members of the consortium, making Citi Infrastructure Investors the majority stakeholder at 47%.  Also, the holding company, Kelda Holdings Ltd is actually based in Jersey, where many UK businesses seek respite from the high levels of tax payable in their own country.

2) Yorkshire Water owns 80,000 acres of land, thus is one of the region’s largest land owners.  That’s alot of wind turbines they could install across the region.  Bearing in mind that Yorkshire Water was originally born from privatisation, this is land that was basically gifted to them in the 1980′s.

So the moral of the story is… don’t think that Yorkshire Water will not try to make the most of their land.  As well as looking at developing a wind farm at Thornton Moor, they are currently exploring the possibility of erecting 24 turbines in the Harrogate area.  They have already erected turbines at Loftsome Bridge Treatment works in Hull, Ovenden Moor is due for repowering soon, and planning permission is currently being sought for a 85m turbine at Graincliffe Reservoir in Bingley.  We would think that they may also appeal to have turbines erected at Chelker Reservoir near Bolton Abbey, and Thornton Steward in Wensleydale.

We would imagine that one Kelda company, Kelda Eurobond, having directors with many other directorships in wind farm companies may be the drive behind their strategy.  One example is James Cooper, who has at least 9 wind farm directorships under his belt.

Despite the above information, there still lies a very important question…

What does YW/Kelda/Saltaire Water or whatever they want to call themselves, stand to gain by leasing their land to another developer, when they are more than capable of developing their own windfarm, as currently being demonstrated in Harrogate?  It cannot be that they are afraid of backlash from their proposals, because the ‘Save the Dales’ campaign is giving them a run for their money, just as is TMWAG to Banks.  It could be that they are perhaps trying to give the illusion that it is someone else subitting the contentious proposals for Thornton Moor, after all, they are choosing contentious sites elsewhere, and to add another contentious site to their list could be a PR nightmare… couldn’t it?

If you have any ideas, answers on a postcard please!!