Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Thanet Wind Farm Array

Councillor David Green would like to encourage public discussion of The Thanet Offshore Wind (Thanet) project to be located 11.3km offshore from Foreness Point, the eastern most part of the Kent coastline. He writes, “Between 60 and 100 wind turbines would make up the wind farm, depending upon the size of turbine chosen and based on a maximum output of 300mW. This is enough to provide electricity for 240,000 average homes, which will account for a significant proportion of the energy needs of East Kent.”

See brochure on the subject.

David continues: “I want to regard the proposed wind farm as a positive development especially if Port Ramsgate gets the maintenance work and even better if it gets some of the installation work. I think we need to be a little sanguine about the scale of any economic impact in terms of jobs created and so judge how much disruption and investment is justified at the Port accordingly. I understand that most of the maintenance is done "on site".

If the cable comes ashore in Pegwell then I think that is probably manageable - but we'd need a close look at the detailed plans and their mitigation measures. If there was no "gain" such as them paying substantially towards clearing up the Hoverport site then I would be reluctant to support. Remember that the whole of the Hoverport concrete area is built on waste coal shale including the road down to it. It all needs to be removed if the pollution risk is to be removed.

In terms of environmental impact, obviously measures will be needed to control the spread of pollution whilst the shale is removed.

A lot depends on the depth of the cable (reported above as being 1 to 3 m). If it laid in the mud then there may be little impact, but if it needs to go deeper then it is much more of a problem in terms of disturbing fresh water aquifers and the chalk itself which is fluid in nature. There must be people that know far more about the dynamics of the bay than me.

If they are to come ashore at Pegwell and take up the Hoverport - then obviously it will need co-coordinating with the 'Landings' project. We don't want them returning the site to nature and then Landings coming along and proposing its redeveloped!”


Anonymous said...

Non fossil and non nuclear power has to be the future, I have seen these on land in Denmark and although they make some noise its not pervasive or unpleasant and in any case should not be a problem offshore.
The only thing that slightly concerns me is if there is a likelihood of ships colliding with them, could be messy and expensive.We recently had a ship abandoned by its crew and drifting in the Channel, its a very busy place.
As far as burying the cable etc I think thats the least of anyone worries.
Yes its heavy capital investment and expensive electricity but the cost should come down with time and at least we are not ruining the world for our children by using wind farms.

B from Birchington said...

How safe are the birds with this? I suppose in themselves birds are not improtant but the environment needs diversity I believe. It has a domino effect.

Anonymous said...

I think the actual bladed generators are out far enough to be missed by most flock movements. It does look as if every-one will be a winner with this.
What I do not understand about the array I can see in the sea off Herne Bay as viewed from Marine Terrace each morning is why so few? If you are going to spoil views to horizons then do it on a grand scale; lets have twice as many in each location.
Not only could we see Old Hoverport cleaned up but also the Richborough eyesore sorted?
Cllr Green has my support.

Anonymous said...

My only problem with this is that I understand TDC want to spend a substantial seven-figure sum on a new quay at Port Ramsgate to accommodate the maintenance vessels etc. It's not yet clear, though, that Ramsgate would be certain to get the maintenance contract.

Is it going to be put to us that we need to spend/borrow this large amount first, in order to attract the maintenance contract? And what if we don't attract the contract? Who pays for those works in that eventuality? The ratepayer?

Surely that would qualify as Turner Centre 2 (Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water!)

Over to our Ramsgate correspondent, Cllr Green...

Anonymous said...

anon again!

Yes, the Sunset horizon off Birchington has been totally spoiled by the windfarm.... please - don't let them ruin the Sunrise horizon off the Forelands.
Double the amount off Hernia Bay, by all means.... but leave the Forelands Windfarm free ! Please. Please!

Anonymous said...

Wind farms do not produce enough energy, what they do produce is a drop in the ocean and could never provide anywhere near the energy required. This country floats on a bed of coal which is supposedly expensive to extract. We should also expand on nuclear energy which has little risk for high returns. If something goes wrong we'll have to deal with it like we always do.

Expectant gas recycler said...

Sadly, this Government has grossly exacerbated the problem caused when the Power Generation Industry rushed into producing electricity with gas fired power stations as the remnants of our magnificent coal industry lost contracts and coal fired power stations closed.

Net result, we as a nation quickly used up the N. Sea gas reserves and are now paying through the nose for a resource whose supply cannot be guarranteed! Bloody marvellous!

As capitalism made its quick buck, no one really thought about future supplies of gas to millions of householders.
So as we all face a bleak future of energy shortages at exorbitant prices we can ponder on how nuclear plants and ample coal reserves seem to have passed into history. Is the answer going to be collecting my own sh*t and collecting methane off it?

Anonymous said...

Nuclear energy has to be out of the question - we are just planting a cancerous seed within the earth which will never go away and the potential for disaster on a scale 100 times worse that that in Russia will always be there. Coal is gone. It was used as an example to break the unions - a clear demonstration of cutting off the nose to spite the face and a legacy of Thatcher that history will always remind us of. This wind farm is clean and in the long term inexpensive. It can be the cause of the regeneration of Ramsgate as a port - it will create 800 new jobs in the area and have a knock on effect of creating up to 4000 more. We have this project to chase - lets do it! We have new management coming to Manston - lets welcome them and give them support. The Olympics is on our doorstep and should be seen as an an opportunity for everyone to take part. We have to start seeing the good in projects like these instead of wailing about problems. Should we not - by now - be fed up with hanging our heads or looking away when we say we live in Thanet?