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True cost of wind

I read the letter from RL Bonafont (NCE last week) with great interest because I have developed, financed, constructed and operate four turbines with an installed capacity of 3.15MW just by my house in North Wales. The turbines produce enough energy to power over 2,100 houses.

I have been in the wind business since 1992 and continue to develop wind farms on a full time basis.

In answer to the queries raised by Mr Bonafont I have the following cost analysis for onshore wind turbines:

 Delivering a commissioned 1MW wind turbine costs about £1M. There are no subsidies for building wind turbines.

 The life expectancy of a wind turbine is 20-25 years.

 The annual costs of routine maintenance is about £3,000 per turbine.

The minimum wind speed to activate generation is between 2 and 3 m/s.

 In North Wales there is sufficient wind for turbines to generate at least 80% of the time.

Offshore wind turbines obviously cost more to install, but they are more productive due to the wind regime.

Wind turbines generate the energy used in their manufacture in about four to six months. The energy produced is 100% deep green energy and it should be noted that all forms of electricity generation require backup.

HUW SMALLWOOD (M), managing director, Tegni Cymru Cyf, Bron Graig, Llangwm, Corwen. Denbighshire, LL21 0RL

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