March 11, 2015 | Community 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 the first wind farm in the Leeds metropolitan area.
Banks Renewables, part of The Banks Group, is investing £14m in building the five-turbine Hook Moor Wind Farm on agricultural land near the junction of the M1 and A1.
As part of preparations for the construction of the scheme, main contractor Hall Construction will be on the site in April, with its initial tasks to include laying the access tracks to the site and building the project compound.
The turbines, which are being supplied by Senvion, are scheduled to arrive on site in the autumn. Commissioning and testing work will be carried out once the turbines are in place, and it’s expected that Hook Moor will be fully operational before the end of the year.
Contractors Colas, who have been engaged by Leeds City Council, are now carrying out site access improvements in advance of Hall Construction starting work.
Up to 30 people will work on site during the construction of the Hook Moor wind farm, with local firms able to tender for a range of contracts relating to various aspects of its development, such as accommodation, catering and security.
A community benefits fund worth around £10,000 per year, or £250,000 over the lifetime of the scheme, will also be linked to the wind farm, with the first tranche of funding being made available once it is fully operational.
Banks Renewables will work in partnership with the local community to provide financial support for local community groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations during the scheme’s 25-year lifetime, to ensure that tangible long-term benefits result for the local area from the company’s operations there. Around £7.8m worth of business rates will also be generated from the wind farm over its 25-year lifespan.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, adds: “The Hook Moor wind farm will bring direct employment, economic and supply chain benefits to the area, and will also have a substantial long-term impact on the facilities available for local people through the community fund that will be linked to the clean, green energy it produces.
“Modern, efficient, indigenous onshore wind farms provide the cheapest available form of renewable energy generation. It’s exciting to have reached this stage of the project’s development, and we’re looking forward to further extending the portfolio of wind farms across the UK that we’ve built, own and operate.
“Schemes like Hook Moor have a vital role in generating more of the energy that we all use via renewable means, and it will also help Leeds City Council to meet its immediate and future renewables obligations.
“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 by the end of the year.”
For further information on the project, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/hook-moor