A planning application for the extension to the permitted lifespan of a successful South Yorkshire wind farm has been approved by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.
Renewable energy firm Banks Renewables was originally given permission to run the Hazlehead Wind Farm, which lies to the west of Barnsley between the villages of Crow Edge and Carlecotes, for 25 years.
But having carried out regular maintenance work at the site and reviewed its efficient ongoing operational performance, Banks last year applied for permission to extend the lifespan of the three-turbine scheme by 15 years, to 40 years’ duration.
No other aspects of the wind farm’s operation will change as part of the planning approval, no new turbines are being planned and all the existing planning conditions under which it operates remain unaltered.
The Hazlehead Wind Farm, which has been operational since 2011, generated almost 15,000 MWh of green electricity during Banks Renewables’ last financial year, which is enough to meet the annual electrical requirements of over 5,000 homes.
It also generates over £8,000 every year for the Hazlehead Wind Farm Benefits Fund, which supports community and environmental projects put forward by local voluntary groups and charities and which will be extended for a further 15 years as part of the planning application approval.
Previous local grant recipients have included Dunford Parish Community Association, St Anne’s Church in Carlecotes and Penistone Community Radio.
Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “The Hazlehead Wind Farm has been successfully generating significant amounts of clean green electricity for well over a decade.
“Our aim is to maximise the environmental, energy security and social benefits that all our onshore wind farms can deliver, and we are very pleased that that we will now be able to increase the contribution that the Hazlehead Wind Farm can make towards helping the UK achieve its Net Zero targets.
“Many local communities have already benefited from revenues generated by the wind farm and extending its lifespan means that even more capital will be available over a longer period to support projects across the surrounding area.”
For further information on the Hazlehead Wind Farm, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/hazlehead