Stop Hinkley Press Release
13th May 2008
Wind-farm rights sold to nuclear developer
The rights to West Hinkley wind-farm have been sold off to Electricite de France who have already announced their intention to build one or two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point.
The news follows a bid put in by EDF to buy British Energy who own ageing Hinkley 'B' power station but more importantly a parcel of land originally lined up for Hinkley 'C'.
Your Energy, who today announced they sold the wind-farm rights, have fought continuous objections from British Energy, Hinkley 'A' and Hinkley 'B' also backed up by the Health and Safety Executive over the unlikely risk of wind turbine 'blade throw' to the nuclear reactors. They began the planning process in 2002 supported by various local environmental groups Forum 21, West Somerset Green Party and Stop Hinkley and with thousands of letters of support being sent to West Somerset planners.
But objections, principally from British Energy, meant they had to drop plans for three of the twelve wind-turbines after West Somerset District Council rejected the original application in 2005. Even with the reduced nine-turbine proposal, British Energy continued the fight, moving on to object on a 'land-use' argument, declaring nuclear would be a better use of the land earmarked for the wind-farm.
Your Energy's land option with Fairfield Estates, owned by Lady Gass, was due to expire next year and it appears that the company decided they had little chance to build the wind-farm in the present climate.
There is still an outside chance that the wind-farm may be built by EDF as they have a fledgling renewables 'wing' known as 'EDF Nouvelle' or 'New EDF' and Your Energy has passed on the project files to them. But it would appear the land has been procured primarily to build one or two of Areva's giant 1,600 Megawatt European Pressurised Reactors.
Jim Duffy, spokesman for Stop Hinkley said: "It's bitterly disappointing that a clean renewable energy project has been squeezed out by Europe 's biggest energy company who are set on building at least one but perhaps two giant nuclear reactors with their associated nuclear waste and risks from accidents and terrorism. I don't think Somerset people want this behind-the-doors type of take-over nor what it will bring us."
"It's shameful that nuclear operators British Energy have made life difficult for Somerset 's most promising sustainable energy project. Even more so that the Health and Safety Executive backed them up. This is a sad day for the environment."
Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley Coordinator, 07968 974805