Liberal Democrats are committed to investment in renewable energy sources such as wind, wave and solar so, County Councillor David Kendall took the opportunity to join a group of members from Essex County Council yesterday on a fact finding visit to the Ecotech Centre in Swaffham, Norfolk.
The Ecotech Centre is the home of Swaffham 1, the UK's first multi-megawatt wind turbine which was built in 1999 and is owned by ecotricity. It is one of a new generation of direct drive, variable speed wind turbines and produces enough electricity for around 3,000 people or over a third of the population of Swaffham.
The Ecotech Centre is an environmental education centre and Swaffham 1 includes a 65m high viewing platform, which has already been visited by over 50,000 people. The unique viewing platform is situated just below the hub and can be reached by climbing a 300 step spiral staircase inside the tower.
The coach visit to Swaffham was made by members of Essex County Council's Economic and Environment Policy and Scrutiny Committee and forms a part of their research into the different forms of Renewable Energy that are available to meet the County's future energy needs.
Cllr Kendall climbed the 65m up the inside of a wind turbine and said:
"It was an interesting experience that gave us all a very useful insight into the potential that wind power can offer as a source of renewable energy.
"The people of Swaffham welcomed the wind turbines in their area and were now reaping the benefits that wind power could offer the community. I am pleased to see that here in Essex plans are well advanced for Clacton to have an Off Shore Wind Farm and I am very excited by the potential that this source of energy has to offer our residents in the future"