Stop the blighting of Lundy & North Devon by RWE’s Atlantic Array

Please act to help stop a major act of vandalism to the British Coastline. Visit the Slay the Array site by 31st of August to find out how to help.

I have just returned from a holiday in North Devon, including a day trip to Lundy Island. Here I learnt about a mega wind farm proposed for the Bristol Channel by energy giant RWE. This is an area of outstanding coastal beauty, attracting millions of tourists annually to the area.

Proposed are 188 to 278 turbines, of either 180 or 220 metres (590 or 722 feet) in height, located as near as 13km (8 miles) from Lundy and 14km (9 miles) from the North Devon Coast.

Compare this with the second highest point on Lundy. The small building in the photograph is Tibbetts, 128 metres (420 feet) above sea level.

Or compare in height to some London skyscrapers.

Tower 42 (formerly the Natwest Tower) is 183m

The Gherkin (30 St Mary’s Axe) is 180m

One Canada Square, Canary Wharf is 235m

In Manchester, the tallest building is the Beetham Tower at just 169m tall, whilst the older Blackpool Tower, that dominates the resort’s skyline, is a mere 158 metres.

Another comparison is to the Skegness wind farm. Here there are just 57 134 metre-high turbines located 5km from shore. It has blighted the outlook from the beach level at Skegness. This picture I took at Easter of this year, on a very grey day. Better pictures are available here. The pictures do not fully recreate the visual impact, as the eye is drawn to the turning blades – or in the case of Skegness the difference between those blades that were turning, and the large number which were not.

Yet Skegness is a declining resort, not noted for its scenery. It does not have high cliffs from which to look out at a distant coastline. There is no equivalent of Butter Hill at Countisbury or the cliff tops of Lundy where you can survey the coastline of Wales. Should this Atlantic Bristol Channel Array go ahead, the eye will be drawn instead to the turning mega turbines, as the scenery.


  1. Jan Ayliffe

     /  21/08/2012

    Thank You for supporting our worry about the Atlantic Array. We need more support other than ‘Slay the Array ‘.Please contact local MP,s via email –Nick Harvey and Geoff.Cox easily found via google . Thanx a million Jan

  2. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  3. Manicbeancounter

    Saw your post at wuwt. There are several elements here:

    First you need an accurate portrayal of what the site will really look like-planners are swayed by often false mock ups which minimise height and impact and it is important to show what the real impact will be

    Second is to get an accurate estimate of what the actual amount of delivered power will be, as opposed to theoretical capacity.

    Thirdly is to put over the real amount of power that means in a format that will be understood by planners. When wind farm develoers claim they will be Providing electricity for say 100,000 homes that doesn’t tell the whole story as planners assumes that means total needs whereas it invariably excludes heating, ovens etc

    Fourthly is to relate that to the actual costs of generating that power which needs to Luce
    any transmission lines

    Fifth and perhaps most important is to point out what difference that will make to any reduction in global temperature which is the stated purpose of wind farms by the way of carbon reduction. It is likely to be a few thousandths of a degree.

    You have to be rather insane to believe that erecting a colossal wind farm with all that implies in terms of cost and environmental impact in order to save a few thousandths of a degree is a worthwhile enterprise.

    • manicbeancounter

       /  28/08/2012


      Thanks for your detailed comment.
      In brief.
      – RWE has posted detailed (450MB), but flawed images here. Three aspects to consider of the Lundy images. First, taken from the far south of Lundy, whilst the proposed turbines are North of the Island. Second, the imposed turbines are 136m tall. Latest proposals are for 180m or 220m turbines. Third is that we are human. Our eyes are drawn to movement. Moving turbines will be more visible to an actual viewer than in a photograph. (This is why we can drive a car with far less brain power than a computer. We filter the exceptions.)

      The original projected costs were up to £4.5bn. My latest posting shows a pay-back in 11-13 years. It might be sooner if wholesale electricity prices rises, or there are extra payments for not producing electricity in periods of high wind / low demand.

      • So little energy for so much money and environmental destruction and to cap it all it will have not the smallest meaurable effect on what it is supposed to combat-rising temperatures.Its madness but sadly we have got used to tat by now.

        There is a by preoduct of course in as much that not only are modern energy sources extremely expensive but if we manage to reach our targets it will be at the cost of our overall competitiveness as a nation.


    • manicbeancounter

       /  29/08/2012

      My next post looks at one aspect of the revenues the Atlantic Array will generate. A huge amount of extra revenue will be generated by a change in the subsidies.

  4. The posted comments relate to the Summer 2012 situation – and so are now out of date.
    I run a regular Bulletin about the Array and how those with concerns can get their voice heard in an effective manner.

    There are time deadlines looming and so it is important that contact is made sooner rather than later in order to undertake the necessary preparation. Some copies of my Bulletin have been posted on the “Slay-the-Array” site – from which copies my contact details can be obtained.

    AlanR – resident of Bideford

    • manicbeancounter

       /  23/01/2013

      Thanks for the update.
      The latest updates are at

      RWE have delayed the submission of their planning application from December 2012 to Spring 2013. There is now a hope that this will be delayed indefinitely, as RWE realize that there has been a change in the political climate and that there has been a huge amount of opposition to the project, from hundreds of people to National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Trust and Swansea Council’s Planning Committee.
      The size of and number of the proposed pylons remains unchanged

  5. Carbon500

     /  27/11/2013

    I can’t agree with you that Skegness is a declining resort. It’s clean, no litter or graffiti, a good mix of old and new architecture, and every time I’ve visited over the last few years it’s been bustling with people – it’s always been a popular resort.
    The trains to get there are usually nearly full, and the station’s clean and welcoming.
    The only eyesores are the wind turbines, visible from the Norfolk coast as well. When the conditions are right (a bit of mist) happily they can’t be seen!

    • manicbeancounter

       /  27/11/2013

      I will take another look next time I visit. Last time I visited was in April, when the east coast is not at its best.

%d bloggers like this: