School turbine plan lodged

Micro turbines for James Calvert Spence College, Amble.
Micro turbines for James Calvert Spence College, Amble.

Concerns have been raised over a proposal to site two micro wind turbines at a north Northumberland school.

The 23.5metre-to-tip structures would be located in the grounds of James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) – Acklington Road, in Amble.

Northumberland County Council’s energy and sustainability team has submitted the plan, which has gone out for consultation.

Those behind the scheme say it would help promote local renewable-energy generation and allow JCSC to become more sustainable.

But it has already attracted complaints, with one objector branding the plan ‘ridiculous’.

The resident, who did not want to be named, said: “This is not good. I have a lot of friends who live up by the school and they are very anxious about it.”

The turbines would be positioned behind the school building, close to Amble Welfare and away from Acklington Road.

A design and access statement, by Eco EnerG Solutions Ltd, states that the turbines’ make and height have been chosen to minimise visual impact.

The turbines would be located 200m from the closest homes and would have ‘minimal impact on the landscape’.

It is believed that each 10kW micro wind turbine would generate between 18,000kWh and 22,000kWh annually.

Any surplus energy would be fed back to the National Grid and provide renewable energy to nearby properties.

It is claimed that the project would help the school reduce its needs for fossil fuel generated heat and electricity and the resulting environmental benefit is a reduction of approximately 10.1-tonnes of cO2 per year from National Grid power station emissions.

A county council spokeswoman said: “This is in the early stages. We’d hope to make a recommendation by mid-August.”

The scheme is part of a wider county council project to install micro wind turbines at schools, depots and fire stations.

The energy and sustainability team has submitted a separate bid to install a biomass boiler and associated plant, including a 6.5m silo, at JCSC Acklington Road. The consultation period for this ends soon.