The operator of a successful South Yorkshire wind farm is looking to the future after it reached its tenth birthday.
Banks Renewables’ Penny Hill Wind Farm, which sits to the south east of Rotherham and to the west of the M1/M18 junction, came online in March 2013 and has since generated around 380,000 MWh of clean, green electricity.
This is enough to meet the annual electricity requirements of almost 133,000 homes, or a city around the size of Manchester.
And by doing so, the wind farm has displaced the equivalent annual carbon dioxide emissions of more than 44,000 petrol cars from the electricity supply network.
The six-turbine wind farm has also so far generated more than £215,000 for its community benefits fund, which supports community and environmental projects put forward by voluntary groups and charities in the surrounding area and which is distributed taking into account the advice of an independent committee of local community representatives.
A total of 58 grants have so far been awarded to local good causes, with around £50,000 currently available in the fund for applicants and a further £22,000 due to be contributed to it on an annual basis for at least the next 15 years, taking the overall total well past £500,000.
Grant recipients include Ulley Sailing Club, Whiston Parish Council, Swallownest Football Club, the Friends of Ulley Country Park, the Maelstrom Explorer Scouts, The Friends Of Whiston Junior & Infant School and Thurcroft Welfare Community Hall.
Banks Renewables is currently applying for permission to extend the lifespan of the Penny Hill Wind Farm and its three other onshore wind farms in Yorkshire by 15 years, from their original 25 years up to 40 years’ duration.
It also recently announced plans for a groundbreaking new green energy hub at the former Thorpe Marsh power station site near Doncaster and is awaiting a decision from Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council for its planning application to build the proposed Common Farm solar farm and battery energy storage project near Dinnington.
Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The Penny Hill Wind Farm has fulfilled the promises that we made at the very start of this project by consistently generating considerable amounts of green electricity, which is being used to power homes, schools, hospitals and businesses.
“Alongside the environmental and energy security benefits it is delivering, the Penny Hill Wind Farm is also making a long-term contribution to the well-being of surrounding communities by helping to enhance the facilities and the funding support available to local environmental and community projects.
“The Penny Hill Wind Farm has fulfilled the promises that we made at the very start of this project”
“With funding for grass roots projects often difficult to find, this direct community contribution is more important than ever before and the positive impact it has had can be seen clearly right across the area.
“There’s a lot more to come from the Penny Hill Wind Farm, and with the turbines continuing to operate efficiently, we’re hoping to be given the opportunity to deliver even more local benefits by extending its lifespan for a further 15 years.
“Generating as much of the energy that we all use via renewable means is a crucial part of the UK’s journey towards its Net Zero targets and will enable the country to decarbonise its power supply and achieve its climate change targets more quickly than would otherwise be possible.”