March 14, 2012 | Armistead News
New community resources, jobs and commercial opportunities for local firms are set to follow the start of preparatory development work on the site of a £16m wind farm in south Cumbria.
Banks Renewables, part of The Banks Group, began operations on the Armistead wind farm site, which is located on land near the village of Old Hutton, to the east of the M6 between junctions 36 and 37, earlier this month.
As well as making a significant contribution towards meeting Cumbria County Council’s renewable energy targets, the Armistead scheme will bring a range of other benefits to the local community.
A benefits fund worth more than £12,000 every year – or over £300,000 across the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm – will enable Banks to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people, to help ensure tangible, long-term benefits result from the company’s presence in the area.
The wind farm will also provide a boost for the Cumbrian economy through the local supply chain, with up to 20 people being employed on site at any given time during the construction process, and a number of local firms will also work alongside main contractor Hall Construction on the scheme.
After site preparation work is carried out, an access track and other logistical elements of the scheme will be put in place before the six turbines, each with a maximum tip height of 100 metres, are delivered to the site in the autumn.
Construction of the wind farm, which will have an installed capacity of up to 12.3MW (enough to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of up to 6,878 and connection to the local grid is expected to be finished before the end of the year.
The Armistead Wind Farm Liaison Committee, which consists of local residents, elected representatives and the Banks Renewables project team, is meeting regularly throughout the construction phase of the scheme to ensure that it is running smoothly and that local people are fully aware of the progress that will be made over the coming months.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “Utilising onshore wind farms like Armistead to update the UK’s power infrastructure today is already helping to address the energy challenges that we know the 21st century will bring, and we’re very pleased to be reaching such an important landmark for this scheme.
“As well as producing significant amounts of renewable energy, the Armistead scheme will also bring a range of other benefits to the area, from creating employment and commercial opportunities for local firms through to regular funding from a community benefits fund that will make a positive, long-term difference to the area.
“We will continue to work closely with the local community to ensure everyone is kept fully up to date with the progress that is being made on site, and look forward to starting to generate safe, clean and sustainable energy at Armistead early next year.”
For further information on the project visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/armistead