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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 March 2003, 07:28 GMT
Millions for Cumbria wind farms
Wind farm
Wind farms will generate power for tens of thousands of homes
Almost 30m of government money has been given to controversial wind farm projects in Cumbria.

Energy minister Brian Wilson confirmed that 18m is going towards a scheme to build 60 turbines off the Cumbrian coast at Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth.

He also said 10m is being given to the Warwick offshore wind project at Barrow.

The grants are part of a 42m package to wind energy projects throughout the country.

Together the projects are expected to create more than 500 wind turbines, generating 1,500 megawatts of electricity - or 1.5% of the UK's energy needs.

The Scottish Executive has given its approval for the 200m Solway Firth project, which will see turbines sited on a sandbank midway between the Galloway and Cumbrian coasts.

But the plan has been opposed vigorously by many local people on environmental grounds.

The wind farm will consist of 60 turbine towers - each 130 metres tall - and will be visible from both coastlines.

Developers Offshore Energy Resources Limited insist the environmental impact will be "minimal".

Energy from the wind farm will enter the national grid in Cumbria, creating enough to power about 180,000 homes.

The wind farm in the Irish Sea off Barrow, will power up to 87,000 homes.

Operator Warwick Energy says the closest turbine will be about 7km from the southern tip of Walney Island.

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