The world's biggest wind power network could be built off the Lincolnshire coast

Hundreds of turbines could bring about a massive jobs boost in construction and onshore energy factories

The world's biggest wind power network could be built off the Lincolnshire coast. Hundreds of turbines could bring about a massive jobs boost in construction and onshore energy factories. The plans have been unveiled by Offshore Wind Power Ltd, which pledged "significant job and economic benefits". Its move comes six months after the Government gave the go-ahead for applications for more off-shore sites around the UK. It could make Lincolnshire the power house of the UK, linking renewable energy windfarms with the huge gas reserves off the Lincolnshire coast and under the Louth Marsh. Conoco Philips Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal already handles 25 per cent of the UK's gas needs. Coupled with the gas-fired power stations along the Humber Bank, Lincolnshire and its coastline will provide the nation's essential sources of energy for the next century.

The announcement could also add fuel to the battle residents in the Louth area are waging, against power firms aiming to build wind farms onshore. About 250 turbines are proposed for a site off Saltfleet and two other farms off Skegness. Director of Offshore Wind Power, Chris Morgan, said the development will make a significant contribution to the UK's renewable energy and marine industry.
"It will bring benefits to the area as well as to the global environment, and opens a new chapter in the development of a dynamic and sustainable new industry for the UK," he said. Energy could be brought ashore along pipes. The firm expects to be at the peak of production in five years. East Lindsey District Council head of development control, Ian Trowsdale, said the council had little say on off-shore developments, which are controlled by the Department of Trade and Industry. Onshore windfarm sites, including 20 turbines at Conisholme and two at Croft, near Skegness are planned by Ecotricity.

Their applications are due to be decided by planning councillors. Croft will be decided on Thursday, January 15 and Conisholme in early February. ELDC officers had recommended the Croft site should be approved. But opposition groups have united against the council accusing officers of under-charging the windfarm firms for planning fees by tens of thousands of pounds. Opponents wrote to the Audit Commission and the office of the Deputy Prime Minister to complain. Some also called for planning chiefs to be sacked. But Mr Trowsdale said the claims were incorrect and had been investigated and found to be false.
Online editorial www.windfair.net
Trevor Sievert, Online editorial journalist
Uk, wind energy, wind power, wind turbines, offshore, onshore

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