March 28, 2013 | Community News
Barlborough-based business Banks Renewables has flicked the switch on the new £21.9m Penny Hill wind farm.
Renewable energy is now being generated at the six turbine scheme, which is located to the south east of Rotherham and west of the junction of the M1 and M18.
Penny Hill is Banks’ third major investment in renewable energy in Yorkshire, following the now-operational Marr and Hazlehead wind farms near Doncaster and Barnsley respectively, and takes its total installed capacity in the county up to over 34MW.
The company also has a number of other wind farms across Yorkshire at different stages of development, as well as several others elsewhere in both northern England and Scotland.
Around 30 jobs have been created directly on site through the construction of the Penny Hill scheme, which will make a significant contribution towards meeting Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s renewable energy targets.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “The latest Department of Energy & Climate Change figures shows that wind power generated 5.5% of the UK’s electricity needs in 2012, compared to 4% in 2011, but there is an increasingly pressing need for us to generate substantially more of the energy we all use from such indigenous renewable sources.
“We’re extremely pleased to be playing our part in meeting this crucial objective, and being able to produce clean energy from the Penny Hill wind farm is another landmark in Banks’ continuing success in the renewables sector.”
The Penny Hill benefits fund, which will be worth over £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.
Several applications have already been received for the first round of funding, which is available now, and a local panel is scheduled to meet later in the summer to assess all applications.
Banks has already invested a further £50,000 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 continues: “Banks has a long-held policy of providing tangible benefits for our local communities through our Development With Care approach.
“The Penny Hill wind farm has already made a positive contribution to the local area in several different ways, including new jobs, supply chain support and the developing Warm Zone scheme, and with regular funding from the wind farm’s benefits fund set to follow from later this year, there is a great deal more to come.”