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UK's first wind farm marks 25th birthday

Three billion boiled kettles later and the UK's first commercial wind farm is celebrating a quarter of a century of generating renewable power.

It is 25 years since turbines were first switched on - on December 21 1991 - at Delabole Wind Farm on the north Cornwall coast, generating power for 2,700 homes a year.

Since then, the UK wind industry has grown from Delabole's 10 turbines to more than 1,000 commercial-scale onshore and offshore projects that generate enough electricity to power 9.5 million homes a year.

The turbines are a landmark in the Cornish countryside Credit: ITV West Country
homes which are currently powered by Delabole
billion kettles could have been boiled by the wind farm's power since it opened
million Christmas turkeys could have been cooked by the wind farm's power since it opened

This is an incredible achievement for the renewable industry - and a big moment for Delabole.

Since the turbines started turning, renewable technologies have come a long way, with wind power generating a record-breaking 12% of the UK's electricity in 2015.

The success of the wind farm has largely been down to the support of the local community who are the real custodians of this site.

It's thanks to them and their belief in the project, that has helped make Delabole the perfect model for further wind power developments here in the UK.

– Juliet Davenport, Chief Executive Good Energy
Delabole wind turbine Credit: ITV West Country

Across the UK, using wind has avoided burning more than 106 million tonnes of coal over the past 25 years, industry body RenewableUK said - with 58 million tonnes displaced from 2013 to 2015 as wind power boomed.

Wind power is now a mainstream power source in Britain, outperforming and replacing old-fashioned coal.

It's a crucial part of our new energy system, which is designed to deliver the energy the country needs in the smartest way possible.

– Emma Pinchbeck, Executive Director Renewable UK

Atlantic Array wind farm is scrapped - full report

It was meant to be one of the largest off shore windfarm projects in the world, but tonight plans for the Atlantic Array off the North Devon coast are in tatters, with the developers saying it was "not the right time" for the project.

The 4 billion pound scheme had attracted criticism, with environmentalists worried about its impact on marine life in the Bristol Channel. Here's our North Devon correspondent, Seth Conway.


MP shocked by wind farm cancellation

North Devon MP Nick Harvey says he is shocked by the news that developers behind one of the worlds largest offshore wind farms have pulled out of the project today.

The energy company - RWE - say the scheme is financially unsustainable. More than two hundred turbines were planned along nine miles of the North Devon Coast. It would have powered hundreds of thousands of homes in the region.

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Scrapping of wind farm based on 'technical grounds'

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said the scrapping of the scheme was a matter for the developer, but the decision "was made on purely technical grounds and reflects the many complex challenges of constructing offshore windfarms".

The scheme had drawn criticism from environmentalists who were worried about its impact on marine wildlife in the Bristol Channel and campaigns who have branded the project for 720-ft high turbines as unsightly.

According to the Guardian, round 3 windfarms such as those in Dogger Bank, Hornsea and East Anglia, were set up to help the government generate 15 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

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German firm to back other UK offshore wind projects

Director of offshore wind Paul Cowling claimed that German-owned firm RWE is still backing offshore wind and would be pressing ahead with other projects off Britain's coastline.

But it is not known if any other firm will take over the project to install windfarms off the coast of North Devon, which would have provided power for thousands of homes in the region.

The firm scrapped plans for a windfarm off the coast of North Devon. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Richard Sandford, head of European projects offshore at RWE, also denied that the Atlantic Array was dropped as part of a money saving drive at the company.

He told the Guardian: "This really is project-specific and not at all down to other considerations. We are still proceeding with schemes like Galloper and Triton Knoll, off the east coast of the country."


Developers to pull out of Atlantic Array windfarm

The plans include more than two hundred turbines Credit: ITV News West Country

Developers of one of the worlds largest offshore wind farms off the coast of North Devon are expected to pull out of the project tomorrow.

Sources close to energy company RWE Npower say the Atlantic Array scheme is financially unsustainable. It's not known if any other firm will take over the project.

The plans include more than two hundred turbines along nine miles of the North Devon Coast. It would have powered hundreds of thousands of homes in the region.

Wind farm back on table for Bodmin

A third attempt is to be made for a wind farm on Bodmin Moor. Two previous schemes failed after opponents claimed the massive turbines would blight the area. The latest plan has been scaled down from twenty wind turbines to sixteen. A public meeting is being held in Camelford tonight.

wind turbines Credit: ITV News West Country

Wind turbine investigation launched

An investigation is under way to establish what caused the collapse of the turbine Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

An investigation's been launched to discover if a wind turbine which collapsed in Devon could have been sabotaged. It's thought bolts may have been removed from its base - as it emerged a second one has fallen nearby. The first tower came down last week in Bradworth amid gale force gusts of 50mph.

It was first thought heavy winds brought down the £250,000 turbine - which is deeply unpopular with local residents.

But officials believe it could have been the victim of anti-turbine protestors - after bolts were discovered missing from its base. Another 60ft wind tower has also fallen, 18 miles away at Winsdon Farm, in North Petherwin, Cornwall.

Windfarm owner's statement

Statement from Juliet Davenport, CEO of 'Good Energy'.

“When we researched opinion in the local community, there was a very positive response from residents with 68% of those surveyed saying they would consider switching to a Good Energy Local Tariff once the benefits were explained to them.

This response is in line with the many inspiring community projects, such as Gigha in the Hebrides, which generates two thirds of its own electricity with three wind turbines which are owned by the community.”

– Good Energy
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