More than £30,000 has been donated to community projects to mark the official opening of a north Northumberland windfarm.
EDF Energy Renewables has opened its six-turbine Barmoor windfarm, which is capable of delivering enough electricity to meet the average annual needs of approximately 6,500 homes.
The formal opening of the development was marked by the first awards to local organisations from the newly-established Barmoor Wind Farm Community Fund.
In the first round of applications, more than £30,000 was awarded in support of seven projects from local groups, including the provision of a minibus for a football team, the refurbishment of boxing club facilities for young people, equipment for an archery club and rooftop solar panels for village halls.
The community benefit fund will make £60,000 available each year over the lifetime of the windfarm to support local community projects, events and organisations. Applications are considered by a steering group that includes representatives of parish councils.
Christian Egal, CEO of EDF Energy Renewables, said: “We are delighted to have brought the Barmoor windfarm on stream and the project is already making an important contribution to the generation of low carbon electricity.
“It is particularly pleasing that the first groups to receive support from the benefit fund have been able to join us to mark the opening of this project and I am sure that many local community initiatives will benefit from the fund in the future.
“Our relationship with the local community is something we hold dearly and I am therefore also very happy that so many local firms were able to participate in the construction and ultimately the
success of the project.”
A number of local suppliers were awarded contracts totalling around £2.4million as part of the construction of the windfarm, including the supply of concrete and aggregate, drainage works and plant hire services.
Nick Bradford, head of asset management, EDF Energy Renewables, said: “Barmoor is another important building block in EDF Energy Renewables’ contribution to the UK’s low carbon economy which we are expanding all the time.
“We hope through safely and efficiently operating the wind farm here, to become an enduring part of the local community.”