156ft wind turbine plan for South Shields could save £150,000

Plans for a 156ft wind turbine on an industrial estate in South Tyneside have been given the green light by council bosses.

South Tyneside Council’s cabinet has agreed to back plans for a 900kW wind turbine at Middlefields Industrial Estate.

It is hoped that the scheme could help save taxpayers about £150,000 a year.

The Middlefields Industrial EstateThe Middlefields Industrial Estate
The Middlefields Industrial Estate
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In a statement, the council said: “Following a detailed feasibility study, council owned land on Middlefields Industrial Estate in South Shields was identified as the most suitable site for the installation of a wind turbine.

“It is expected that the scheme would help to save around £150,000 a year in energy and operating costs as well as contribute to the sustainability of council services at Middlefields depot.”

The cabinet awarded a contract for the scheme to Scotland-based firm Absolute Solar and Wind last month.

Discussions took place behind closed doors to protect commercial interests.

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The project could see the installation of a three-blade machine that would be 50m tall and with a 54m blade diameter.

This would make it about twice as tall as the buildings around South Shields market place - which are between 21.5 and 27m high.

The project would still have to wait until formal planning permission has been granted.

The council’s statement added: “The council has been highly proactive in relation to the installation of renewable technologies to support the environment and generate efficiencies.

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“For example the installation of solar panels on 19 council buildings and the upgrading of its street lighting network with LED lamps have resulted in savings of more than £1.2m over recent years.”

South Tyneside Council owns several facilities on the Middlefields Industrial Estate - including an office complex, recycling centre and depot for disposal of commercial and industrial waste.

It is not yet known whether the energy generated by the turbine would be used to power the council’s interests on the site, or if it would be sold back to the National Grid as a source of revenue.

A spokesman for EWT, the manufacturers of the turbine, said that, depending on wind speeds, one of the company’s turbines could generate between 1.5-2m kilowatt-hours – enough to power up to 300 homes.

 James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service