Plans for a community-owned wind farm in Cornwall have been submitted by UK-based, green energy proponent, Good Energy. If approved, it will be one of few in the nation that doesn’t rely on either financial backing or government subsidies and could mark the dawning of a new era in renewables technologies.
The project will see the construction of 11 turbines with a generating capacity of 38.5MW near Bude in Cornwall. It is currently being considered by the Planning Inspectorate and will be reviewed in respect of is local impact, as well as global impact.
Good Energy has remained open-minded about investment into the project, dubbed “Big Field Wind Farm”, and hopes the project will be be majority-held by local investors and residents. Juliet Davenport, Founder and CEO of Good Energy described plans as a “bold and innovative response” to last year’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review which has had disastrous consequence for the renewables sector. She continued to say that it would provide local people that opportunity to do their bit for the sustainability agenda, as well as representing great financial reward. With local ownership, all of the wind farm’s turnover will remain in the area and can be re-invested in the development of Cornwall.
Back in 2014, plans were rejected by planners owing to the lack of clarity on government spending. Designs has since been re-drawn and will see the site increase its generating capacity by 50% whilst retaining the maximum height of the turbines at a proportionate small 125m. The revised plans also detail how the farm will be self-sufficient, operating exclusively on the payback from electricity generated.
“Big Field Wind Farm” is hoped to provide power to over 22,000 homes local to the region. The concept of community ownership came in acknowledgement of the findings of a public opinion poll last September. The survey found that three quarters of all UK households were keen to support renewable energy projects providing profits directly benefited the local community.