“With the significant environmental, energy security and community benefits it is delivering, we strongly believe that it makes sense to extend its potential operational lifespan.”
A planning application which would extend the lifespan of an existing south Cumbria wind farm has been submitted to South Lakeland District Council for review.
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, operator Banks Renewables has applied for permission to run the six-turbine scheme for an additional 15 years, taking the expected lifetime of the project to a maximum of 40 years instead.
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 currently operates, including those which protect the residential amenity of local residents, would remain unaltered.
The planning application is expected to be considered by early in the new year.
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 UK’s 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 and which would also be extended for a further 15 years if the planning application is approved.
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 gearbox being replaced on turbine number one to ensure it continues to operate at maximum efficiency.
Lewis Stokes, senior community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “The Armistead Wind Farm has been operating efficiently for almost a decade, and with the significant environmental, energy security and community benefits it is delivering, we strongly believe that it makes sense to extend its potential operational lifespan.
“Many organisations across local communities have benefited from revenues generated by the wind farm and extending its lifespan would mean even more capital would be available to support projects across the area.
“Generating as much of the energy that we all use via renewables means is a crucial part of the UK’s journey towards its Net Zero targets.
“The local feedback we’ve had about our ideas since we announced our plans has generally been positive, and we hope that South Lakeland District Council will allow us to extend the long-term contribution that the Armistead Wind Farm can make towards meeting our nation’s energy needs.”