Preston to trial city wind power

Preston City Council is proposing to build three 100-metre-high wind turbines near the Riversway docklands development close to the River Ribble.

The £12m proposal is to generate electricity for the city from three 3MW turbines with the surplus being sold to the National Grid and any income generated ploughed back into council services.

A planning application for a 70-metre test mast will be submitted in June 2012. If approved, the test mast will remain on the site for several months to allow a feasibility study to take place to ensure the site is suitable. There will be a community-wide consultation process with residents receiving information about the project.

Further environmental assessments will take place and the results will then be analysed before any full planning application for the three 3MW 100metre wind turbines is submitted.

Cllr Robert Boswell, cabinet member for the environment, said: "This is a pioneering and ambitious scheme for the city. We are serious about renewable energy, reducing our carbon emissions and pushing Preston forward as a carbon neutral city.

"If successful, there are major benefits for the local economy, as income generated from the project can be re-invested back into Preston.

"We are now at a stage where we have identified a promising location for the proposed wind project. The next stage is to apply for planning permission for a 70m temporary test mast to assess wind speeds and feasibility.

"It might take up to a year before we know we have the right location but this is a long term commitment and one the Council is keen to invest in – for all the economic benefits that it can bring."

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