March 18, 2013 | Community News
Work on the construction of the first turbine tower a new £21.9m wind farm that is being built by a Barlborough-based developer to the south east of Rotherham has been completed.
Deliveries of turbine components for the Penny Hill wind farm by Banks Renewables has been taking place since the beginning of February, and almost all of the components are now in place on the site, which sits to the west of the junction of the M1 and M18.
The components include blades, turbine tower sections, hubs and nacelles, which are the housings placed at the top of the turbine that contains the generator and gearbox.
One complete turbine is now built and the other five are all at various stages of construction. The turbines will be generating electricity by the end of March.
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 through its installed capacity of 20.4MW, it is also bringing 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 round of funding is available now and several application have already been received. A local funding panel is scheduled to meet later in the summer to assess all applications.
In addition to this, Banks has already made a further £50,000 investment to help establish a Warm Zone scheme across the Rotherham area, which 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.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “Erecting the first turbines towers is obviously a real landmark for us, and takes us ever closer to being able to generate substantial amounts of renewable energy from the Penny Hill scheme.
“A great deal of work went into the planning of our delivery schedule to both minimise local traffic disruption and ensure that everyone is fully kept up to date on when deliveries are scheduled to take place, and we’re very pleased with how things have gone so far.
“The email alert service we introduced to advise local people when and where transport movements will take place is working well, and we’re grateful to the local authorities, the police, the Penny Hill community liaison committee and people living in the area for their help in making this process as efficient as possible.
“Further deliveries will take place over the coming weeks to enable us to continue the construction process, and we will ensure that everyone remains fully informed about the schedule ahead of any convoys’ arrival.
“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.”
Anyone who hasn’t already signed up to Banks’ email alert service can still do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org