Thanks to a very poorly attended consultation event at the Town Hall this evening (9 members of the public) I think I now understand why East Marsh was chosen as the location for the 2nd Olympic turbine (another is to be built at Eton Manor in Waltham Forest). Evidently 'our' turbine will not be operational before Nov 2013, too late for the Olympics; but it must be within the Olympic site to satisfy a planning condition for Olympic legacy renewable energy. East Marsh is deemed to be inside the Olympic site even though it is supposed to come back to Hackney in 2013. The turbine cannot go elsewhere in the Olympic site because the plan is for so much residential development in the legacy 'park' that anywhere else would be too close to housing (I think 250m is the exclusion zone). That should give a fair idea of the sort of park it will be. It cannot go elsewhere on East Marsh because it would interfere with wind flow to the Eton Manor turbine. So the raison d'etre is to comply with a planning condition for 20-35% (the figure seems to vary) renewable energy for the legacy development. However the ODA/LDA now say they may not need the turbine to achieve this figure so Hackney gets to decide whether or not it goes ahead. So it's an Olympics turbine that's not an Olympics turbine. Still with me? Carefully sifting through Charlie Foreman's spin (LBH 2012 officer) it appears the site of the turbine has been moved away from the Old Lea river, further into East Marsh, because of concerns raised in bat and bird surveys commissioned by the ODA. I think I persuaded Mr. Foreman and those present from the ODA to make public those surveys. Other data gathered: it's a 2kw turbine, will take 9 months to repay its carbon build (it's 120m of steel on a big concrete platform); some other output data went over my head/wasn't explained. I did however learn the Olympics carbon footprint, excluding legacy developments, is 4m tonnes! Consultation ends 14 December.
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