RSPB to determine suitability of proposed wind turbine site with mast

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Conservation group RSPB has been granted planning permission to put up a meteorological mast at the site of a proposed wind turbine. To be constructed at Sandy Ridge, Bedfordshire, the mast will gather and deliver data and will allow the RSPB and Ecotricity - one of Britain's green energy suppliers - to determine whether the site is suitable for a wind turbine.

Measuring 70m, the mast will feature bird deflectors and will be in operation for a year - from this month (July 2012) until July 2013. If the site is deemed suitable, Ecotricity will build the wind turbine.

RSPB's regional director in the East, Paul Forecast, welcomed the decision.

He said: "The meteorological mast being constructed on site today marks the first step towards us achieving our ambition of having a winder turbine at the lodge.

"Putting a wind turbine up at this site could generate the equivalent of up to two-thirds of the RSPB's total electricity needs across its UK operations and significantly reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050," he added.

Ecotricity's founder, Dale Vince, commented on the proposed turbine.

"The mast is the next step towards powering RSPB's headquarters with their own dedicated windmill, which will significantly reduce their carbon emissions. Our initial research suggests this site is suitable for a windmill, the mast will give us more data for further detailed analysis. This will include measurements of wind speed, noise and further data on bird and bat activity."

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