Windfarm change is a surfing victory

The Argus: An artist's impression of the Rampion offshore wind farm will stretch from Worthing to Newhaven An artist's impression of the Rampion offshore wind farm will stretch from Worthing to Newhaven

Surfers are claiming victory after an energy company agreed to change its plans for a giant wind farm off the Sussex coast.

Surfers Against Sewage (SAD) had been upset by E.ON’s plans for the Rampion offshore plant that would stretch from Worthing to Newhaven.

The group was concerned wave height could reduce by up to a quarter for surfing beaches in and around Brighton as a result of the renewable energy development.

It entered into discussions with the German company, getting Brighton businesses and surfers to explain why the issue was so important.

SAS also provided comprehensive data relating to potentially affected sites of “special surfing interest” along the south coast and made recommendations on how to minimise impacts on these unique and important resources.

E.ON’s engineering team has now revised the project with new models, projecting a maximum loss to local wave height at three per cent, according to the campaigners.

Fewer and larger

SAS claims the number of turbines has been reduced with fewer, but bigger, ones more spread out.

E.ON had initially planned for up to 195 turbines, but last night refused to reveal how it had altered its scheme.

Dave Samuel, a local surfer and the director of Brighton’s Paddle Round The Pier, the world’s biggest free beach and water sports festival, said: “We’re all very grateful to Surfers against Sewage for ensuring the water sports community was represented and the valuable surf that Brighton enjoys is safeguarded for this and future generations.”

SAS campaign director Andy Cummins said: “After some urgent intervention from SAS, there is a win-win solution for the south coast, protecting surf resources and delivering green energy.

“The current proposal won’t impact on the finite surfing resources the region enjoys and should provide a significant amount of sustainable, renewable energy.

“We will continue to encourage offshore developers to consult the entire community and make special efforts with hard to reach sectors.”

An E.ON spokesman said: “Following the public consultations carried out earlier this year, we’ve taken into account feedback received from the local community.

“We’re currently finalising our application and will shortly release details of the changes arising.”

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Comments (14)

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3:10pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Bob! says...

Are they SAD or SAS?
Are they SAD or SAS? Bob!

3:14pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Fercri Sakes says...

Does anybody actually believe they made this decision due to local concerns? Ha, it's just good PR for a comapny that 'listens'. I bet they can make a few more quid out of the new designs.

I'm all for the construction of the wind turbines by the way, just can recognise positive spin when I see it.
Does anybody actually believe they made this decision due to local concerns? Ha, it's just good PR for a comapny that 'listens'. I bet they can make a few more quid out of the new designs. I'm all for the construction of the wind turbines by the way, just can recognise positive spin when I see it. Fercri Sakes

3:19pm Tue 11 Dec 12

UppityPrimate says...

Brighton doesn't have decent surfable waves anyway. the few occasions they're anything over about four foot, they break within about 20yards and have a savage angled pebble beach dump. the rest of the time it's like a mildly agitated bathtub. surely the paddleboarders and canoeists that make up the vast majority of brighton's watersports community would welcome smaller waves?
Brighton doesn't have decent surfable waves anyway. the few occasions they're anything over about four foot, they break within about 20yards and have a savage angled pebble beach dump. the rest of the time it's like a mildly agitated bathtub. surely the paddleboarders and canoeists that make up the vast majority of brighton's watersports community would welcome smaller waves? UppityPrimate

3:31pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

Eh? A few surfers can get an energy company to alter a multi-million pound development? I'm not fussed either way, so long as the new design will generate as much energy as the old one - it's just that I didn't realise surfers had so much influence!
Eh? A few surfers can get an energy company to alter a multi-million pound development? I'm not fussed either way, so long as the new design will generate as much energy as the old one - it's just that I didn't realise surfers had so much influence! Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit

3:34pm Tue 11 Dec 12

sussexram40 says...

If you want surfing go to Newquay or Fuerteventura. I can't believe an energy
giant would change a big scheme like this to please a handful of oddballs who are too lazy to travel to a decent surfing beach and hope to ride the waves off the coast of Brighton.A bit like those strange turd dodging swimmers who I expect will until the temperature drops to mins 10 and then strip off for a sewagey swim .. then jam up the doctors surgeries because they have got nasty skin rashes, eye infections and hypothermia.
If you want surfing go to Newquay or Fuerteventura. I can't believe an energy giant would change a big scheme like this to please a handful of oddballs who are too lazy to travel to a decent surfing beach and hope to ride the waves off the coast of Brighton.A bit like those strange turd dodging swimmers who I expect will until the temperature drops to mins 10 and then strip off for a sewagey swim .. then jam up the doctors surgeries because they have got nasty skin rashes, eye infections and hypothermia. sussexram40

4:10pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Joshiman says...

Windturbines dont work.No wind no power.Too much wind no power.There are photos on the internet of exploding wind turbines.Its all about the money for the suppliers of these turbines.
Windturbines dont work.No wind no power.Too much wind no power.There are photos on the internet of exploding wind turbines.Its all about the money for the suppliers of these turbines. Joshiman

4:21pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Bob! says...

Joshiman wrote:
Windturbines dont work.No wind no power.Too much wind no power.There are photos on the internet of exploding wind turbines.Its all about the money for the suppliers of these turbines.
Obviously energy suppliers like E ON are just building Wind farms to keep suppliers in business???
Or perhaps they are building a whole range of green energy sources to harness power from various sources.
[quote][p][bold]Joshiman[/bold] wrote: Windturbines dont work.No wind no power.Too much wind no power.There are photos on the internet of exploding wind turbines.Its all about the money for the suppliers of these turbines.[/p][/quote]Obviously energy suppliers like E ON are just building Wind farms to keep suppliers in business??? Or perhaps they are building a whole range of green energy sources to harness power from various sources. Bob!

5:13pm Tue 11 Dec 12

dawind says...

Whilst agreeing in principle for renewable power, I feel slightly alarmed about the visual impact at night. The Turbine Blades will tower above the horizon and be fitted with aviation hazard lights. As the blades turn, independently of each other, the effect will be...err...far out man!
Whilst agreeing in principle for renewable power, I feel slightly alarmed about the visual impact at night. The Turbine Blades will tower above the horizon and be fitted with aviation hazard lights. As the blades turn, independently of each other, the effect will be...err...far out man! dawind

5:27pm Tue 11 Dec 12

sussexram40 says...

dawind wrote:
Whilst agreeing in principle for renewable power, I feel slightly alarmed about the visual impact at night. The Turbine Blades will tower above the horizon and be fitted with aviation hazard lights. As the blades turn, independently of each other, the effect will be...err...far out man!
Just think how much you'll save on LSD.
[quote][p][bold]dawind[/bold] wrote: Whilst agreeing in principle for renewable power, I feel slightly alarmed about the visual impact at night. The Turbine Blades will tower above the horizon and be fitted with aviation hazard lights. As the blades turn, independently of each other, the effect will be...err...far out man![/p][/quote]Just think how much you'll save on LSD. sussexram40

5:35pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Plantpot says...

How many power stations have closed due to the erection of windfarms?

What subsidy do E.On get for building this wind farm? If the answer is it's cost neutral, the answer is they spend nothing, so no actual investment.
How many power stations have closed due to the erection of windfarms? What subsidy do E.On get for building this wind farm? If the answer is it's cost neutral, the answer is they spend nothing, so no actual investment. Plantpot

6:48pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Kate234 says...

sussexram40 wrote:
dawind wrote:
Whilst agreeing in principle for renewable power, I feel slightly alarmed about the visual impact at night. The Turbine Blades will tower above the horizon and be fitted with aviation hazard lights. As the blades turn, independently of each other, the effect will be...err...far out man!
Just think how much you'll save on LSD.
Good point. As tourism is such an important part of the local economy anything that impacts the landscape negatively should not be approved. Creepy lit up turbines when you look out of your hotel window look sinister. They should not be allowed anywhere where they can be seen from the coast. They will also kill thousands of birds.
[quote][p][bold]sussexram40[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dawind[/bold] wrote: Whilst agreeing in principle for renewable power, I feel slightly alarmed about the visual impact at night. The Turbine Blades will tower above the horizon and be fitted with aviation hazard lights. As the blades turn, independently of each other, the effect will be...err...far out man![/p][/quote]Just think how much you'll save on LSD.[/p][/quote]Good point. As tourism is such an important part of the local economy anything that impacts the landscape negatively should not be approved. Creepy lit up turbines when you look out of your hotel window look sinister. They should not be allowed anywhere where they can be seen from the coast. They will also kill thousands of birds. Kate234

7:11pm Tue 11 Dec 12

The Gnome says...

I've just seen a tail wagging a dog.
I've just seen a tail wagging a dog. The Gnome

7:41pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Fercri Sakes says...

dawind wrote:
Whilst agreeing in principle for renewable power, I feel slightly alarmed about the visual impact at night. The Turbine Blades will tower above the horizon and be fitted with aviation hazard lights. As the blades turn, independently of each other, the effect will be...err...far out man!
Tower above the horizon? Ha ha! They're quite a few miles out to sea and will be about the height of your finger nail with your arm stretched out.

And the lights? Hopefully you can get Worthing to turn their seafront street lights off as that will be a lot more conspicuous.
[quote][p][bold]dawind[/bold] wrote: Whilst agreeing in principle for renewable power, I feel slightly alarmed about the visual impact at night. The Turbine Blades will tower above the horizon and be fitted with aviation hazard lights. As the blades turn, independently of each other, the effect will be...err...far out man![/p][/quote]Tower above the horizon? Ha ha! They're quite a few miles out to sea and will be about the height of your finger nail with your arm stretched out. And the lights? Hopefully you can get Worthing to turn their seafront street lights off as that will be a lot more conspicuous. Fercri Sakes

8:31pm Tue 11 Dec 12

HJarrs says...

It is a shame that there has been such a constant undermining of the windpower industry since the 1980's when the nuclear industry funded anti-windpower propoganda.

In Germany and Denmark a significant proportion of windturbines are community owned and the profits flow back to the local community; the anti-wind brigade have largely ruined community ownership in this country.

I suspect that the original wave height figures were wrong and have been corrected for the redesign; 3% at worst case seems more reasonable for such insignificant structures.
It is a shame that there has been such a constant undermining of the windpower industry since the 1980's when the nuclear industry funded anti-windpower propoganda. In Germany and Denmark a significant proportion of windturbines are community owned and the profits flow back to the local community; the anti-wind brigade have largely ruined community ownership in this country. I suspect that the original wave height figures were wrong and have been corrected for the redesign; 3% at worst case seems more reasonable for such insignificant structures. HJarrs

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