The UK’s first onshore wind farm to be built without government subsidy is now under planning in Cornwall, to be financed in part by the local community.
The Big Field Wind Farm is planned by the green power company Good Energy and is likely to cost about £30m to build and install.
Despite the cost, Good Energy believe the site could be funded solely by income from the electricity it generates and investment from local people – making it potentially the largest community-owned wind farm in England.
Many planned wind and solar farms have been cancelled by the government’s scrapping of subsidies and incentives for onshore wind farms. Good Energy decided instead to try to raise funds locally to support the installation.
A previous application for planning permission for the turbines was blocked and with the withdrawal of government support for onshore wind, the plan looked at an end.
Good Energy revived its prospects with a new project that would use the same number of turbines but with 50% more generation capability without the need of increasing the turbine size. The company is hopeful that the support of local residents in agreeing to co-finance the project will help to tip the balance as the projects planning permission is reevaluated.
The windfarm, which could be operational in 2018, consists of 11 turbines and could power up to 22,000 homes if planning permission is granted.
Good Energy CEO and founder Juliet Davenport said:
‘This is a bold and innovative response to the challenges laid down by Government to the renewables industry since the election last year. This project will give local people the chance to show their support for renewable energy, and all the benefits it brings both locally and globally, by investing in their own wind farm’.