Summer date for new windfarm

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A SECOND windfarm on a north Northumberland moor will start to take shape this summer, after securing the capital financing required for work to begin.

HgCapital has agreed to provide 100 per cent of the equity needed for the development and construction of 10 turbines at Wandylaw, near Ellingham, while Royal Bank of Scotland has arranged £36million in loans for the project.

Norwegian energy company Statkraft will buy the power and Renewable Obligation Certificates under a long-term contract.

The windfarm is the second to be constructed just north of Alnwick, with work already having started on 18 turbines at neighbouring Middlemoor. Both schemes were highly controversial at the time planning applications were lodged, attracting massive objections.

Middlemoor was approved by the Government in August 2008, despite a storm of protest over the sheer scale of the scheme in what is an unspoiled upland setting. Wandylaw was approved on appeal a year later.

Work on both was halted, however, until a solution had been found to satisfy the Ministry of Defence, which expressed serious concerns about the 125metre-high turbines’ impact on the RAF’s remote radar head (RRH) at nearby Brizlee Wood, which is integral to the UK’s air defences.

Because of the two sites’ close proximity, they will effectively create the largest windfarm cluster yet seen in England.