Saturday, June 03, 2006

Tyne Dock, new feature

Tyne Dock, new feature

Passing along Jarrow Road, having travelled into South Shields from Durham, I was struck by the new structure which presented itself on the right hand side of the road. In between the Esso garage and the bottom of Hudson Street I saw a brand new "windmill" of the type used for generating electricity, unsure on whose land it was sited, I decided to investigate further. It was only as I was entering the Middlefields site that I remembered reading in the minutes of the Council's Cabinet that they had decided to install a wind turbine at the Neighbourhood Services Department.

The Council owned site at Middlefields is the fourth largest consumer of electricity within the Council's estate and the annual bill is 50,000 pounds, the associated costs of producing this electricity include the unwanted production of nearly 500 tonnes od carbon dioxide. The decision to install the 250 Kw wind turbine was taken by Cabinet on 21st. March and it will be able to generate more than half of the site's electricity needs, this will save us around 25,000 pounds per annum and reduce the carbon emissions by 220 tonnes. Any electricity generated that cannot be used on site will be exported to the National Grid.

Most of the set up costs have been grant aided and it is envisaged that the wind turbine will have paid for itself within seven years, for the council tax payer this a really good investment, not only in terms of cost savings, but as a lasting contribution to a cleaner greener future. It is to be applauded.

Wind turbines are, without doubt, a very usefull source of renewable, carbon neutral, energy but unfortunately cannot be erected just anywhere you please, planning restrictions prevent them from being built close to residential areas, however, I did read recently of a young entrepreneur, Matt Mavir, who has designed a small wind turbine for household use, and he's a Geordie too!

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