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Wind Powered cars are on the way!

23 July 2008

Artist's impression of the Lotus wind park.

In a surprising U turn last night, South Norfolk District council voted to approve Ecotricity’s application to build three wind turbines at Lotus’s car factory in Hethel.

The Council had turned the same application down earlier in this year and looked sure to turn it down again and force an appeal – but, by just one vote, the application was approved.

The turbines are to be sited inside the test track at Lotus’s factory (an industrial site), which sits in a part of the district that the Council themselves had said was suitable for up to 6 wind turbines. The original refusal didn’t make much sense given that and the outcome at appeal looked pretty certain.

Dale Vince, Ecotricity MD had this to say:

“We’re chuffed to bits. This is a great site for wind turbines and together with Lotus we’re going to create something really special, the world’s first car factory powered entirely from wind energy. This will be a massively influential project as the world starts to grapple with the energy crisis and climate change – the ultimate double whammy.

We hoped the council would take this second opportunity to approve this scheme, so that we could all avoid the waste of time and money an appeal would bring. In our hearts we expected another refusal, so we’re very pleased with the outcome.

We’d like to thank those councillors that made this possible and those people who expressed their support for this through the petition and other means. Common sense has prevailed and we will now be able to take a very important step towards a future where we secure our own energy needs, from our own local sources – without adding to climate change. These will be the first wind turbines in South Norfolk, they cannot be the last.”

Construction work is expected to start next spring and the turbines should be up and running by later in the year.

Once operational, all of the electricity needed by Lotus for their operations will be produced on site without any pollution at all, and in a typical year there will be enough ‘spare’ electricity to power about 1,000 local homes.

Follow our progress on the Lotus wind park progress page.

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