Wind farm death knell fears

By Joanna Glover, Somerset County Gazette, 16 May 2008

FEARS that the death knell has been sounded for West Hinkley wind farm were raised this week, with the sale of its rights to Electricite de France (EDF).

The energy firm has already announced its interest in investing in nuclear energy and bought the rights for the wind farm from Your Energy.

EDF also owns a piece of land adjoining the existing nuclear plant, which campaigners fear will be used to build more nuclear reactors.

Stop Hinkley spokesman Jim Duffy said: "It's bitterly disappointing that a clean renewable energy project has been squeezed out by Europe 's biggest energy company who are set on building at least one but perhaps two giant nuclear reactors with their associated nuclear waste and risks from accidents and terrorism.

"This is a sad day for the environment."

A spokesman from EDF said: "EDF has been exploring possibilities at Hinkley Point for more than a year and has already said publicly that it has purchased land next to the existing site."

But EDF said hopes for a wind farm may not be lost completely, and that they would be looking into every option.

The spokesman added: "While EDF's priority is the development of new nuclear at the site, the company is also reviewing all its options regarding the proposed wind farm.

"We are also investigating, through our sister company EDF Energy Nouvelles, several other sites for windfarms in the South West."

A spokesman from Your Energy said: "Your Energy had been developing the wind farm since 2002 but planning permission had yet to be granted.

"EDF Energy were a logical successor to Your Energy in the project given EDF Energy's experience in all aspects of power generation and supply and their recent investment in the land that comprised part of the wind farm site."

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Page Updated 16-May-2008