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Megawatt valley - Calendar news

The wind farms are in addition to the power stations and not instead of them.

15 April - Lisa Adlam, from Calendar News and a cameraman visited Beal bridge - we hope that the event has put Beal on the map as the village where, for the time being, the Industrial area of West Yorkshire ends and the open countryside begins. From the bridge you can see Ferrybridge power station to the West and Eggborough to the east, with 10km between them. The view to the north is entirely open countryside with Birkin village and its Norman church. The whole panoramic vista has been protected by Green belt set up to limit the expansion of the industrialised area.

Beal illustrates the extent to which the open countryside could be destroyed if up to 22 wind farms with over 225 turbines are built in the Selby area. The view to the north of Beal could be dominated by 400 foot high turbines if two proposed wind farms were to be given the go ahead.

For more info including map and photo visualisations click here.

Eggborough can generate up to 2000MW when required, the two wind farms could in theory generate 57.5MW  - but only in a steady wind of more than 27mph - in other words not very often.

CO2 savings from the wind farms and the amount of power generated will be insignificant compared with the output from the power stations and the CO2 that they can save by using bio-mass to partly replace the coal.

We made this point in the interview but it was edited out of the broadcast report and in its place we had a report that the wind farms would generate enough power for Leeds and Sheffield. The information was no doubt provided by the Wind Energy Trade body, Renewables UK - who consistently say that wind farms have a load factor of 30% , even though the average last year was less than than 25% - in our area Lissett managed 24.9% and Bagmoor 26.4%.

Hundreds of wind farms stretching right across the area might occasionally be able to power a city but wind varies and to allow for this the power stations need to be kept running. The graph below shows how the total output from many wind farms varies over a year. Often when the power is most needed it is not windy and there is virtually no power being produced.

The wind farms are in addition to the power stations and not instead of them.

Previous news item.

Other wind farms

Power generated by wind farms and how it varies over last year.

Graph compiled by CLOWD - includes data from all UK Grid connected wind farms.

This News item

Filmed on 15 April

Broadcast on 18 April