January 30, 2013 | Community News
The components which will eventually make up a new £21.9m wind farm being built by Banks Renewables to the south east of Rotherham will begin to arrive on site from next week.
In July last year, Barlborough-based Banks began preparatory work on the Penny Hill Wind Farm, which sits to the west of the junction of the M1 and M18, and despite the unusually wet weather, work has progressed on schedule.
The steel tower sections for the turbines are currently being built at the Mabey Bridge factory in Chepstow.
The first component deliveries will begin during w/c 4 February, subject to any adverse weather conditions, and will continue for a period of around three weeks.
It’s expected that the testing and commissioning phase of the project will be completed in the spring of this year.
At the most recent Penny Hill Wind Farm liaison committee, Banks has agreed to distribute a notification of the key traffic dates and to implement an email alert service to minimise any traffic disruption caused by the component deliveries.
Anyone wanting to sign up to this service should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Penny Hill represents Banks’ third major investment in renewable energy in Yorkshire, following the now-operational Marr and Hazlehead wind farms near Doncaster and Barnsley respectively, and the company has a number of other schemes in the county at different stages of development.
Around 30 jobs have been created directly on site through the construction of the scheme, with a number of contracts also being awarded to local firms for the supply of materials and sub-contract works, as well as associated services such as catering and accommodation
As well as making a significant contribution towards meeting Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s renewable energy targets, it will also bring a range of other benefits to the local community.
A related benefits fund worth around £20,000 every year – or approximately £500,000 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.
The first tranche of funding is scheduled to become available during the summer, and in addition to this, Banks has already made a further £50,000 investment to help establish a Warm Zone scheme across the Rotherham area.
This scheme is already delivering practical measures such as cavity wall insulation and loft insulation into local homes in order to help to alleviate fuel poverty and improve domestic energy efficiency on a district-wide basis.
Establishing a Warm Zone leads, on average, to benefits worth around £3million becoming available to people in the area, in the shape of grants for energy efficiency improvements that will increase a property’s energy efficiency and in turn and reduce household fuel bills, helping to lift people out of the fuel poverty trap.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “Our Penny Hill delivery schedule has been carefully designed to minimise any traffic disruption, and Banks has been working with the local authorities, the police, the Penny Hill community liaison committee and people living in the immediate vicinity to ensure everyone will be kept up to date on when deliveries are scheduled to take place.
“We’re using our best endeavours to make these deliveries with minimum disruption to traffic in local communities, and are looking forward to starting to generate safe, clean and sustainable energy at Penny Hill in the very near future.
“The wind farm is already making a positive contribution to the local area in several different ways, including new jobs, supply chain support and the Warm Zone scheme, and with regular funding from the wind farm’s benefits fund still to come, this is just the beginning of the long-term, positive impact that our work here will have on the local community.”