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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Giant turbines to begin turning
Dundee wind turbine (pic by Andrew Anderson)
The tyre company hopes to keep disruption to a minimum
Two wind turbines which are thought to be among the biggest to be located in a city are about to start turning.

The turbines are being erected at the Michelin tyre factory in Dundee, which has been forced to find a way to cut rising energy bills.

There were hundreds of objections to the plans, with some residents concerned about noise and interference to their television signals.

However, Michelin hopes any disturbance can be kept to a minimum.

The turbines will avoid producing more than 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide which the plant would otherwise have drawn from conventional power sources.

The first of the two, which has already been erected, stands 400ft tall and can be seen for miles, with the nearest homes a few hundred yards away.

'Demanding market'

With about 1,000 workers, the Michelin plant is Dundee's biggest industrial employer.

Site manager Trevor Haines said the turbines were a key part of securing the long-term future of those jobs.

"At a time when our energy costs over the last two years have doubled, the turbines are going to give us significantly reduced electricity costs and form a key part of our future in terms of continually improving our competitiveness in a very demanding market," he said.

The company has set up a 24-hour helpline for members of the public to call for information on the project and Mr Haines said about one third of calls so far had been people expressing concerns.

He added that Michelin had complied with the strict regulations laid down by the city's planning chiefs.

The urban turbines have received the backing of environmentalists and Green North East Scotland MSP Shiona Baird said other companies should be looking into generating renewable energy.

"With rising oil prices, rising CO2 emissions, we really need to look at these alternatives," she said.

Hear residents' views on the wind turbines

Wind farm proposals go on display
17 May 06 |  Cambridgeshire
More cash for green home projects
16 May 06 |  Scotland
Council objects to wind farm plan
10 May 06 |  Tayside and Central

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