AFTER decades of legal wrangling and planning paralysis, four wind turbines are being installed near Wareham.
The project has seen opposition from some groups but here, landowner, Will Bond, answers questions on the scheme – and what it means for Purbeck…
How’s progress coming along?
Two of the turbines are up and a third is going up today (November 28). The final one will go up next week, depending on the weather.
Once they’re physically up, it’ll take about a month of electrical testing before they’re operational, and then they’ll start putting power in the grid after Christmas.
Will residents of Purbeck see a reduction in their bills?
Unfortunately, with the way the energy market is, we can’t do that. It’s a great shame, but it’s out of our hands.
Why don’t you build them offshore?
We don’t have the capacity to do it all offshore.
Besides, we need to build a broad mix of small quantities of renewable energy solutions.
Do the turbines pose a risk to birds?
In our area we have a number of heathland birds; woodlarks, nightjars, and Dartford warblers.
Surveys show the max height they fly at is comfortably below 20 metres, and our turbines don’t come any lower than 40 metres. That’s 20 metres between them.
A lot of early wind turbines were built in California and Spain on top of ridges, where Birds of Prey floated on the updrafts into them, which caused real problems.
Everybody’s happy this is not an issue for us.
Are you also using solar power?
Yes, our solar and wind power will share the same grid connection.
They help to balance each other; typically a solar day is not particularly windy, and a windy day isn’t too sunny.
We can put the two together into one store.
How do you respond to the criticism that unsustainable fuels are used in the construction and transportation of your turbines?
You can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs.
It’s ridiculous – if the only way to have renewable energy is by using fully-sustainable sources, then we won’t have any.
Are you planning to build any more?
I’m not involved with any other renewable projects, and I’m not aware of any others in the area. But we need more, we’re well short as a country.
Our wind and solar power will generate enough energy for all residential properties in Purbeck – it’s a substantial amount of energy.