20 October 2010>
Caerphilly County Borough Council's planning committee last week granted planning permission for the erection of a temporary monitoring mast to gather wind data at Oakdale Business Park.
The 70 metre mast is the next stage in the wind energy investigations being carried out by renewable energy developer Partnerships for Renewables, in partnership with Caerphilly County Borough Council who owns the land at Oakdale.
"The mast, which is a long thin structure, will allow us to gather important data to confirm that the site is windy enough for a viable renewable energy development", explains Tony Duffin, Regional Manager at Partnerships for Renewables. "Our investigations so far show that the site has potential to host two turbines with a maximum tip height of 130 metres and a generating capacity of 2.5 megawatts each. This could produce around 11 gigawatt hours (GWh) of green electricity every year, enough to power 2,400 homes*. It may also be used to supply local businesses with redued price electricity."
"We are currently undertaking various environmental and technical studies on the site and if all our investigations prove positive and we progress with a development at the site, we would expect to be ready to submit a planning application in March 2011 at the earliest."
As part of the development process the possibility of feeding electricity directly to local businesses based at the business park is being explored. This would ensure that as well as contributing towards national targets, the turbines will benefit communities and businesses locally, by providing reduced price electricity.
Councillor Ron Davies, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Countryside said: "It's good to see that this scheme is progressing as the council has an ambitious sustainable regeneration strategy in place and we are committed to the concept of 'Living Better, Using Less'. Investigating wind energy is a vital part of our future energy mix and we are proud to have the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to meeting renewable energy targets and promoting sustainability."
Partnerships for Renewables will be holding a community drop-in surgery on Wednesday, 10 November for local residents and any other interested parties to hear more about the project and share any views and comments. It will be held at Argoed Village Hall, Argoed, NP13 1YL from 2pm to 6.30pm.
For more information about the project please visit www.pfr.co.uk/Oakdale.
Note: The environmental benefit figures are based on two 2.5 megawatt turbines, operating with a 25% capacity factor; average household electricity use of 4572.5kWh per annum; and the electricity generated displacing electricity generated from CCGT / average fuel mix - approx. 430gCO2/kWh.
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