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Wind turbine test abandoned because it was ‘too windy’

NO TEST: Mick Lovatt, Preston Councils corporate director of environment,  and Coun Robert Boswell

NO TEST: Mick Lovatt, Preston Councils corporate director of environment, and Coun Robert Boswell

The construction of a mast to test the viability of a wind energy project for Preston was abandoned this week - because it was too windy.

An 80-metre test mast was due to be put in place at the site near Wallend Road yesterday, but the wintry weather meant it couldn’t go ahead.

The mast is, however, still scheduled to be put up this week, and will test the potential of a project worth up to £50m.

The civic energy project, run by Preston Council, is exploring the potential of generating up to 21,000 MwH of energy a year from wind power, and income from the sale of this energy could be worth up to £50m over 25 years.

Coun Robert Boswell, cabinet member for community and environment, said: “The wind, ironically, has to be low to be able to put the mast up and they were battling with high winds, which does look good for the future and future readings.”

Explaining the scheme, 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.”

He said investigations would also be carried out to see if the turbines would interfere with radar and if so what the solution would be, and said they would also try to minimise any impact on wildlife.

He said: “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.”

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