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High winds halt city council test wind turbine plan on Preston Docks

Posted on - 12th February, 2014 - 5:15pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston News, Riversway
Wind turbines could become a feature of the Docklands landscape

Wind turbines could become a feature of the Docklands landscape

Council engineers were left huffing and puffing today as they were forced to abandon putting a test wind energy mast, because of high winds.

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Preston City Council were due to erect the 80 metre test mast on Wallend Road, Riversway, but gusts of up to 80mph derailed the project.

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Engineers managed to lift it a third of the way up but the bad weather forced them to abandon the project.

A council spokesman said they had hoped to use a short weather window before the storms hit Preston, but couldn’t make it in time.

Hapless workers were left to comment on how the council could be making a fortune if a wind turbine was already up on the site.

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The test mast is being put up as part of a civic energy scheme which could see the city council invest in wind turbines producing energy which is then sold back to the National Grid.

Councillor Robert Boswell, cabinet member for community and environment, said the council was investing up to £250,000 in the project.

He said: “During the next twelve months the test mast will measure wind speeds, the data from which will tell us whether there is enough wind to generate electricity at the site to make the scheme viable.

“Whilst the test mast is measuring wind speeds, we will also be carrying out investigations to see whether wind turbines at this site would interfere with radar and if so what the solution would be. In addition, we will complete our ecology and bird studies to make sure that we can minimise any impact on wildlife from possible wind turbines on the site.

“We are investing up to £250,000 in this project. It’s a big commitment but we have to think long term. Public funding is being cut back and as a Council we have to look at all ways of raising money and limiting the financial burden on taxpayers.”

Council sources claim the scheme could generate £50m over the next 25 years.

The city council will try again to erect the test mast with the winds expected to ease by Thursday afternoon.

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