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Wind power for Elephant and Castle

Wind power arrived at the Elephant and Castle this week when turbines were unveiled by Southwark Council.

Cllr Richard Thomas
Cllr Thomas was unimpressed by jokes about hot air and the regeneration programme

Council bosses say that sustainable energy is a "vital part" of the 1.5 billion regeneration project to transform the area.

The two turbines – designed by XCO2 – will store energy during the day and then power lighting after dark. They have been installed in front of the Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre next to the Ecopod, a unit which promotes local projects aimed at reducing Southwark's carbon footprint, including the Cross River Tram.

Any extra energy stored by the Ecopod is channelled into the local grid and used by residents.

"Green energy is a very important part of the Elephant and Castle regeneration and it's great for people to see it in action," says Cllr Richard Thomas, executive member for regeneration, who unveiled the turbines on Tuesday.

"I am very keen to see eco-power at the heart of the project, and these turbines – along with the solar panels on the Ecopod – show how easily such energy sources can be implemented. Installing these turbines is a small but important step on our way to making giant strides to reduce the area's carbon footprints."

Southwark Council is planning a Multi-Utility Services Company (MUSCo) which will provide locally generated heat and electricity, supply non-potable water and build a fibre optic communications infrastructure to the redeveloped Elephant and Castle.

Developer selection delayed yet again

The launch of the wind turbines comes as the timetable for the selection of the council's development partner has slipped yet again.

The council executive was due to choose between the two competing consortia on Tuesday 27 February, but the meeting was cancelled at short notice.

A council spokeswoman issued this statement to the London SE1 website: "The competition for a commercial partner has been exeptionally strong and as a result we have a very strong shortlist of two. We are taking more time to reach a final decision but will do so shortly."

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