Wind farm at Gadegast – Hope that a fresh wind will blow

Wind farm at Gadegast – Hope that a fresh wind will blow

11 February 2015/Gadegast

 

The change in top management is also intended to makes sure the plans take off. The chances at Gadegast are good. According to the investor the area is a designated priority site for wind energy in the regional planning.

At the beginning of March, in other words in a few days, vortex energy Deutschland GmbH from Kassel will be submitting the planning applications for the wind farm it intends to build at Gadegast. Managing Director Philipp Jeske explained this when asked by MZ (Mitteldeutsche Zeitung).

This means the approval procedure for the project would be set in motion. And if all goes well he anticipated a start to construction work in the middle of next year.

The Jessen town council also had to agree to this. The change in the political structure at Jessen gave Jeske the opportunity, as he explained to the MZ, to try and obtain a relatively small alteration to the project planning in the town on the Elster. “We had learnt that there was a new mayor and we wanted to find out whether he was someone we could talk to. We know that Jessen fends off any attempt to construct wind turbines in its urban area. And Mr Jahn’s predecessor didn’t even let us get a word in edgeways,” Jeske said in connection with the new approach. He’s not concerned with erecting turbines in the Jessen urban area. Rather he’s hoping to get approval for some of the planned wind turbines at Gadegast – generally known to be in the Zahna-Elster urban area – to be relocated a few metres away. “Then the turbulence conditions would be better and the turbines could have a greater yield.” Jessen would then only have to grant the investors public easements. Certain statutory requirements governing “topple radii” and similar matters would then affect town roads or pathways. Nothing else was at stake. The plots of arable land affected were all in private hands. If Jessen agreed to register the public easements, the town should then also participate in the hoped-for greater yield from the turbines. This was what vortex energy is offering.

 

“Need for further examination”

While the opinions in Jessen’s finance committee certainly tend towards a positive response – even in view of the budget situation – the members of the urban planning committee are convinced of the need for further examination. “There was no conclusive agreement here,” Jessen’s building department manager Silvio Becher said. “If everything is in order then there would certainly be no obstacle to approval,” he said, summarising the direction the committee were thinking in. “The results of the examination are available and will be put before the next main committee meeting,” The building department manager added. Becher was unwilling to say in advance of the meeting what the results of the recent examination looked like. Even if the Jessen town council did not give its approval, the residents of Naundorf near Seyda and Mellnitz would still have the turbines in front of their noses. That is why mayor Michael Jahn (SPD) did not intend in the finance committee to oppose the wish of the investor from the word go.

And if it is not possible already at this stage to prevent the wind farm, why should the town not accept the financial revenue arising from registration of the public easements, Jahn argued. A train of thought which the town’s “money managers” were certainly prepared to follow. But they have also imposed conditions. “How great is the distance to existing building development?” Brigitte Dressel (BBP-BI Jessen) wanted to know. “According to the investor about 1 200 metres. The statutory requirements are indeed all met,” Jahn replied. Before the urban planning committee Philipp Jeske had previously explained his concern in person. The furthest relocation of the turbines concerned was around 50 metres. This means that the relevant “windmill” would be a little closer to Naundorf. About 1 160 metres away, Jeske believed.

 

Priority in regional planning

There should be little doubt that the wind farm would be constructed. According to vortex energy, the area was designated a priority site for wind energy in the regional planning. In the first draft it was shown initially only to be for repowering, Philipp Jeske explained, but then it was approved for the construction of new turbines. Repowering merely describes the replacement of existing turbines with fewer, but larger generators. But at Gadegast there weren’t as yet any.

Since the first draft of the wind farm project which the company presented to the Zahna-Elster town council almost exactly two years ago there had now been a number of up-to-date changes or adjustments. Instead of eight turbines, as was provided for at that time, it was now intended to set up nine rotors. But each has a somewhat lower output: instead of three megawatt, now 2.75. “We are of course reacting all the time to changes in the technology,” Jeske explained. The total height of the turbines will be about 200 metres as things stand at present. The increase of roughly 15 metres is accounted for by the length of the blades. They are now about 60 metres long. Nothing much will change as regards the planned total output of the farm.With an annual output of 64 million kilowatt hours it would be possible to supply 12 800 three-person households for about a year with electrical energy. Till Jeske, CEO of vortex energy Holding, had already quoted these figures to the town council of Zahna-Eslter two years ago.

As reported above, it will not be possible to achieve the aim at that time of beginning construction in 2015. “When it came to it, reaching agreement with the landowners was somewhat more difficult than expected,” Jeske said.