Felixstowe's distant wind farm

IT may be several miles away, but Felixstowe has a new attraction to catch the eye of people strolling along the seafront.

IT may be several miles away, but Felixstowe has a new attraction to catch the eye of people strolling along the seafront.

For on the horizon can be seen the spectacular sight of one of the UK's biggest offshore wind farms.

Look south, and just off the Naze, at Gunfleet Sands, striding across the skyline like something out of a sci-fi film are a dozen or so huge turbines.

They are visible with naked eye on clear days and this autumn the blades will start turning for the first time, providing another sight few people expected to see from the resort.

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Peter Sills, communications manager for the project, said it could be seen from a wide area if the sightlines were good.

He said: “It certainly is a spectacular site and will be seen from many miles away.

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“For us it is an excellent site for three reasons - primarily because the North Sea is a very windy area, secondly there are good grid connections within three-and-a-half kilometres at Clacton, and thirdly because it is on a sandbank, away from shipping, with London Clay to provide a solid foundation for the turbines.”

So far 16 turbines have been installed, and foundations put in for all 48.

Cables have been connected and tests with the National Grid have been successful.

Mr Sills said the wind farm would provide 20 per cent of all Essex's electricity or 90pc of that for the Colchester and Tendring area.

Do you love them or hate them? Give us your views on wind farms - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Gunfleet Sands wind farm

Gunfleet Sands is being developed by Danish company Dong Energy with 48 turbines.

The sands sit in the North Sea between Clacton and north of the Thames Estuary.

The shafts of the turbines are being embedded 40 metres into the seabed.

Each turbine is 129 metres tall and weighs about 450 tonnes and takes up to four hours to install.

Commissioning will start late summer, and the wind farm will reach full production during 2010.

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