Are wind farms really hot air?

Hill of Fiddes, near Aberdeen, Broadview Energy Ltd's first operational wind farm.

Hill of Fiddes, near Aberdeen, Broadview Energy Ltd's first operational wind farm.

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As the district prepares to fight a High Court challenge against a wind farm near Helmdon, the firm behind the project says it would power nearly 6,000 homes.

Last week it emerged South Northants Council were co-claimants in a challenge by Greatworth resident Veronica Ward against five, 125m high turbines at Spring Farm Ridge, just off the B4525, proposed by Broadview Energy.

Mrs Ward told the Advertiser she was fighting to protect the south Northants landscape as wind firms take advantage of subsidies, enabling them to build turbines, even where there is little wind.

This week Olly Buck, project manager for Broadview, said they measured wind speed and direction at the Spring Farm Ridge site for a period of two years with results proving the commercial viability of the site, and claimed it would produce enough electricity to power 5,580 households.

He said due to its geography Britain was one of the windiest countries in Europe, yet has fewer turbines.

He added: “Wind energy is proven to work across the UK as evidenced on Friday, September 14, when Britain’s wind farms contributed 4GW of power to the National Grid, enough to light and heat more than 3m British homes.”

Mr Buck said the wind farm would be privately financed and would only receive subsidies once it was putting power into the grid and added: “On average subsidies cost the average household about £25 a year on their electricity bill.

“Such a figure is incomparable with the huge increases in energy bills that result from the volatility of gas and oil prices which flow from our ever increasing dependence on imports.”

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