The new wind turbine that is now dominating the skyline in parts of Ilkeston has divided public opinion.
The turbine, which has been surrounded by controversy since the planning stages, has been built by Severn Trent to power its Newthorpe Sewage Works.
Standing 430 feet tall, with 164 foot blades, the structure, christened Winston, is near the Bennerley Viaduct.
Plans for the turbine were passed in 2011. When the plan came before Broxtowe Borough Council’s development control committee, its then chairman, Cllr Steve Barber, cast the deciding vote when things reached deadlock — a decision that has sparked criticism.
Speaking this week, Cllr Barber said: “We need to keep the lights on and to do that we need to find new and environmentally friendly ways of creating power.
“I felt then and still do now that the turbine is far enough away from homes to be given permission.
“Turbines are becoming common place all over Europe and we should follow suit.”
Winston, named by pupils at Awsworth Primary School, will be switched on before March.
Jon Beeson, renewable energy specialist at Severn Trent, said: “Our work to construct the new wind turbine has been challenging due to the recent weather.
“However, we’re pleased that it’s now in place and we expect it will start to produce energy for the first time before the end of March. A huge amount of energy is needed to provide water and waste water services to our customers.
“Winston will help us to limit the amount of electricity we need to take from the National Grid and reduce our carbon footprint.”
The turbine is now 130 metres (426 feet) tall and each blade is 50 metres (164 feet) long.
When it is turned on, it is expected to start work to produce around 5,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year – that’s equivalent to supplying around 1,500 homes with power.
See next week’s Advertiser for more on the turbine.