“Our aim is to maximise the environmental, energy security and social benefits that can be delivered through the Armistead wind farm”

Renewable energy firm Banks Renewables has announced plans to look for an extension to the maximum lifespan of its wind farm in south Cumbria.

The Armistead wind farm, which sits to the east of the M6 between junctions 36 and 37, has been operational since 2013 and was originally given permission to run for 25 years.

But having carried out comprehensive regular maintenance work on the six-turbine scheme and reviewed its ongoing operational performance, the family-owned firm has decided to look for permission to run the six-turbine scheme for a maximum of 40 years instead.

A planning application on the lifespan extension is set to be submitted to South Lakeland District Council in the coming weeks, with a view to it being considered before the end of the year

No other aspects of the wind farm would change as part of the planning application, no new turbines are being planned and all the existing planning conditions under which it operates, including those which protect the residential amenity of local residents, would remain unaltered.

The Armistead wind farm generated more than 25,000 MWh of green electricity during Banks Renewables’ last financial year, which is enough to meet the annual electrical requirements of over 8,000 homes, and by doing so, it displaced over 5,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network.

It also generates almost £14,000 every year for the Armistead Wind Farm Benefits Fund, which supports local community and environmental projects put forward by local voluntary groups and charities.

Previous grant recipients have included Mansergh Parish Meeting, Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC, Preston Patrick Memorial Hall, St John the Baptist Church in Old Hutton and New Hutton Institute.

Banks Renewables recently completed the latest phase of its ongoing maintenance programme at Armistead, with the bearings being replaced on turbines one and six to ensure they continue to operate at maximum efficiency.

Lewis Stokes, senior community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “The Armistead wind farm is coming up to its tenth anniversary and is continuing to generate significant amounts of clean green electricity supporting our contribution to the UK’s crucial journey towards its NetZero targets.

“Our aim is to maximise the environmental, energy security and social benefits that can be delivered through Armistead, a process which extending its permitted lifespan by a further 15 years would allow us to do.

“Many organisations across local communities have benefited from revenues generated by the wind farm and extending its lifespan would enable us to further increase the positive impact it has on the facilities and resources available for local people to enjoy.

“Utilising the widest possible range of renewable energy generation technologies will help the UK to achieve its climate change targets and decarbonise its power supply as quickly as possible, and we hope South Lakeland District Council will allow us to extend the contribution that the Armistead wind farm makes to meeting our nation’s energy needs.”