A controversial windfarm development consisting of six, 110-metre-tall turbines is now fully operational and has started producing power for the local grid, one-month ahead of schedule.
EDF Energy Renewables has announced that all construction and commissioning activities for the Barmoor scheme, between Ford and Lowick, are now complete. The turbines are capable of producing enough low-carbon electricity to meet the annual needs of approximately 6,500 homes, the company says.
John Penman, EDF Energy Renewables’ head of construction, said: “We’re very proud to have delivered this project efficiently, safely and ahead of schedule. I’m full of praise for what our team has achieved here at Barmoor. I am also very grateful to the local community and those living near the site for their patience and support during the construction process. Although we strived, as we always do, to keep disruption to a minimum and keep our neighbours informed of how the works were progressing, we really do appreciate the support and interest from local people we received as we carried out the works.”
Now that it’s operational, day-to-day management of the windfarm will pass to EDF Energy Renewables’ asset management team. It will oversee the running and maintenance of the site as well as the administration of the £60,000 per year community benefit fund.
Nick Bradford, EDF Energy Renewables’ head of asset management, said: “Barmoor windfarm will make an important contribution to the supply of low-carbon electricity required by the local area and beyond. As the operators of windfarms across the country, our goal is to not only to generate electricity, but to become a part of the communities that host our projects. One of the ways we can give something back to the local area is through community benefit funds like the one we’ve set up at Barmoor. I’m delighted to say that the final administrative elements are being put in place and that the fund should be looking at making its first grants to local projects sometime this coming spring.”
The development, which was controversially approved on appeal in 2010 after the Government overturned Berwick Borough Council’s original refusal of the application, has been fiercely opposed by residents.
Last April, a month after EDF Energy Renewables bought the project from Duke Energy and Statkraft UK Limited, the strength of feeling against the scheme was shown by objectors during an open day, which was hosted by EDF in Lowick.
In October, motorists were advised that police would be escorting over-sized vehicles carrying turbine components to the windfarm site over a period of two weeks.