THE Nympsfield wind turbine, subject to a fierce five-year planning battle between local residents and planners and the Stroud-based renewable energy company Ecotricity, was sweet 16 this week.

Commissioned on Friday, December 13, 1996, the 60-metre Lynch Knoll turbine has, according to Ecotricity, generated over 15 million units (kWh) of electricity – enough to power 227 local homes every year and prevented almost 6,500 tonnes of CO₂from entering the atmosphere.

Lynch Knoll was one of the Britain’s earliest wind turbines and until six weeks ago was the only one in Gloucestershire, before it was joined by a new companion at St Briavels near the Forest of Dean.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “Sure wind energy was a brand new idea back then. And to most people it was a bit ‘hippy’.

“But it’s been working day and night since then, proving itself and proving the viability of wind energy. Enough to have brewed 754 million cups of tea.”

Since its formation in 1996 Ecotricity has gone on to put up 52 more wind turbines around the country and a solar-farm.

The company recently lost its appeal after being turned down by Stroud District Council for four 120-metre high turbines in the Berkeley Vale.