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February 14 2012

Letter from Geoff King:


There has been much coverage in the local media in the last couple of weeks regarding the proposed Rampion Wind Farm and of Eon's 'Public Consultation' Road Shows.

The first thing to focus on is the notorious unreliability of this wind farm technology, reference the very recent gales and the need to close down or reduce output of many existing wind farm sites and the much publicised photograph's in the national press of the wind turbine that 'blew up' and 'caught fire'.

The second thing to focus on is the fact that without the various governmental subsidies that the wind farm owners and operators attract for these projects, be they from the UK government or the EU, the truth is that these wind farms are not economically cost effective or environmentally sustainable. The wind farm technology is far from efficient and does not produce anything like the claimed power outputs.

There has been much suggested from many local sources that the port of Newhaven and the local area could be a 'major player' in the construction phase of the Rampion wind farm and also in the subsequent maintenance operations once the wind farm goes into service. The hope of these suggestions from many varied local sources is that this project may create local job opportunities and prosperity for the local area.

Again, sadly, the truth regarding local employment opportunities would be something very different. The very nature of such a technically advanced project would employ very highly trained and skilled specialists. These specialists would be provided by the various contracting companies and bought in as needed on any particular phase of the project. There may be a very few unskilled job opportunities that local people may be able to take advantage of. The local employment bonanza hoped for as a result of this project is very sadly a 'smoke screen'.

I am all for local prosperity, sustainable local job opportunities and the improvement to the local community that this could bring but sadly this project, should it go ahead, is not going to provide this local wealth. The wealth would go to Eon and to the contracting companies, not to the local area.

Very sadly, a very real project that would have created local prosperity, sustainable local job opportunities and the improvement to the local community was very recently 'put on the back burner' by our elected representatives at Lewes DC. I refer to the ASDA project and associated development that would have been of direct benefit for Newhaven and the local area and would have created very real local prosperity, sustainable local job opportunities and the improvement to the local community.

So I say to all our elected representatives at National and Local level, let's focus on what we can achieve rather than this 'pie in the sky' idea of benefitting from such a wind farm project.

Geoff King
Marine Drive