Tuesday, May 6, 2014

News: Turbine plans in for Aldwarke

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A 125m wind turbine could join the chimneys of the steelworks on the Aldwarke skyline as Kelda Water Services (KWS) submits a planning application for a wind turbine at its water treatment site.

Kelda's main subsidiary is Yorkshire Water, whose annual energy bill has increased significantly over recent years and now stands at around £50m. The Rotherham application is part of a plan to reduce energy consumption with the aim of generating up to half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The waste treatment works at Aldwarke, close to Tata Steel and the Waddington Way commercial development, serve the vast majority of Rotherham's population (over 100,000). It treats 26,000m3 of waste water from local homes and business each day.

The proposed turbine will have a maximum height of 125m from the turbine base to tip of the blade. With an estimated generating capacity of 2.5 - 3.5 Gigawatt hours of electricity annually, it should be able to generate the equivalent of approximately 70-100% of the site's annual electricity needs.

In comparison, the turbines at Penny Hill wind farm in Ulley have a maximum height of 132m, and the latest turbine outside the Nuclear AMRC research factory at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, is 100m high.

The design and location of the turbine is dictated by the large number of telecommunication links that cross the Aldwarke Lane site. The plans, supported by planning consultants, ARUP, state that there are "clearly some adverse landscape impacts from the propped development" but with the nearest residential buildings more than 350 metres away, it is not believed to "not adversely affect residential amenity."

The application also includes environmental reports, transport assessments, noise and shadow flicker assessments and studies into the impact on birds and other wildlife, as well as TV and radio signals.

It concludes: "The proposed development has the potential to provide all the energy needed to power the Aldwarke Waste Water Treatment Works, offering renewable energy to power critical infrastructure with limited environmental effects on the surrounding area. The proposal meets national and local planning policy and it is our view that this scheme should be approved by RMBC."

Kelda Water Services website

Images: Kelda Water Services

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