Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Slay The Array Press Release

Campaign group welcomes SW Marine Energy Park announcement:

"This must surely mean the death knell for the misconceived Atlantic Array plan".

Campaign group Slay The Array has welcomed DECC Minister Greg Barker's announcement today that the South West is to be the UK's first Marine Energy Park.

The group, which coordinates opposition to the Atlantic Array, a plan to build up to 417 giant wind turbines in the Bristol Channel, believes that the announcement has been made 'in the nick of time'.

"This must surely be the death-knell for the Atlantic Array plan – possibly the most absurdly misconceived wind energy proposal in what is, let's face it, a crowded market," said Slay The Array spokesman Steve Crowther.

"The Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range and some of the fastest tidal flows in the world.

"It's absolutely ideal for renewable – and reliable – tidal and marine current energy, which is why it was the site of a very successful trial of marine-current turbines in 2003.

"Yet the Crown Estates and RWE/npower are hatching plans to build between 188 and 417 giant wind turbines – the most unreliable, inefficient and discredited form of renewable energy – between North Devon and the Gower."

While the Atlantic Array developers claimed during recent public consultations that marine/tidal technology was 20 years behind wind, in fact RWE/npower is itself involved in the first major tidal array being developed off Anglesey, he went on.

"The tidal arrays are not on the same scale as the proposed wind-farm, but they are more efficient, more effective and less environmentally damaging.

"Water is 800 times denser than air, so it generates more power at less speed and enables smaller and slower rotors than are needed for wind power. This technology generates at around 60% of capacity, rather than the 32-35% thatwind can offer at best; and as the tides are predictable, all the power generated can be managed into the Grid, rather than wasted."

The Atlantic Array is proposed to occupy an area of 400km2, starting only 9 miles off the North Devon coast. The coastline includes Lundy Island and the headlands of Baggy Point, Morte Point and Bull Point, all owned by the National Trust, and is a haven for walkers, birdwatchers, surfers and seaside holidaymakers.

The area boasts the UK's first Marine Conservation Zone, set up to preserve a unique coral eco-system; one the UK's largest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; a UNESCO Biosphere; one of the country's few remaining fishing fleets and some of the country's most famous surfing beaches.

"It is hard to imagine a less appropriate place to line the horizon with turbines, and line the sea-bed with 400 islands each constructed out of concrete and 6,000 tonnes of huge boulders", said Steve Crowther.

"The huge subsidies paid for out of our fuel bills, and an abundant supply of wind turbines – some of questionable quality – has created a wind-rush which makes a few people rich and the vast majority of us poorer.

"In the last three weeks reports from two major think-tanks have shown that theSecretary of State's obsession with wind power is not only costing a fortune and pushing more people into fuel poverty, but is actively hampering our long-term energy strategy.

"Hopefully, Greg Barker's announcement shows that the 'dash for wind' is over, and the Atlantic Array will be consigned to the dustbin of history."

For further information contact Steve Crowther, Info@SlayTheArray.com

01271 813844 or 07775 787579 www.SlayTheArray.com

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