January 22, 2013 | Community News
Initial investigation work on the site of a new £7.5m wind farm to the south east of Heysham is set to begin later this month.
In October last year, Lancaster City Council granted planning permission to Banks Renewables for the Heysham South Wind Farm, which will be situated on agricultural land to the south of the A683, around 1km to the south east of Heysham itself.
Site investigations will commence on the site using a small drilling rig, as part of geological investigations that are being carried out in preparation for the start of construction in late summer this year.
The work, which will begin before the end of January and which is expected to take between two and three weeks to complete, will be carried out during normal working hours, and there will be no impact on traffic in the surrounding area.
The three-turbine Heysham South Wind Farm will have an installed capacity of 7.5 MW.
Between ten and fifty people will be employed on the site at any one time during the site preparation and construction phases of the project, and local firms will be able to tender for contracts linked to all aspects of the wind farm’s development, from construction and materials supply through to accommodation, catering and security.
As part of the proposals, Banks Renewables will invest around £50,000 in creating a new Warm Zone scheme across the area, in partnership with the Warm Zones community interest company.
Setting up a Warm Zone has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of improving the energy efficiency of the housing in a given area, and leads, on average, to benefits worth around £3million becoming available to people in the area.
This funding comes in the shape of grants for energy efficiency improvements that will increase a property’s energy rating and reduce their fuel bills, together with other related services that would help to lift them out of fuel poverty, which is defined as occurring when someone has to spend more than ten per cent of their income on heating their property adequately.
The introduction of the Warm Zone scheme will create a number of new jobs in the area, including doorstep assessors and administrative positions, and local contractors will also be able to bid for the installation work required for the recommended energy efficiency measures.
In addition to the Warm Zone funding, a benefits fund worth at least £10,000 per annum will be funded through revenues from the wind farm, and will be used by Banks to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people.
Banks has established itself as one of the UK’s leading developers in the wind farm sector, and has a number of completed and ongoing projects at various stages of development across the north of England and Scotland.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “Preparatory work for the construction of the Heysham South wind farm is progressing well, and the work we’ll shortly be carrying out on site will help us finalise the details of our construction process. Our aim is to get it done as quickly as possible, so we can continue to move the construction process forward with all due speed, and it will have no tangible impact on the surrounding area.
“In addition to generating significant amounts of renewable energy, which will make a major contribution towards the local renewables targets, the Heysham South Wind Farm will also bring a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses through to funding for a range of community improvements.
“We’re working closely with local communities to keep everyone up to date with our progress, and look forward to being able to generate renewable energy from the Heysham South scheme early next year.”