West Coast Energy to hold public exhibition for Salden Wind Farm proposal

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West Coast Energy will hold a public exhibition to allow local residents, elected representatives, community groups, organisations and local businesses in the area to find out more about their proposal for Salden Wind Farm.

The renewable energy company has announced the public exhibition to allow all those who live in the area a chance to see the proposed plans and speak to members of the West Coast Energy team.

The exhibition will take place on Monday, October 21 at Greenacre Hall, Drayton Parslow, from 2pm to 8pm.

The proposal for farmland located to the north of Drayton Parslow and south west of Newton Longville provides for the installation of four wind turbine generators, each with a tip height of up to 115m and a generating capacity of up to 2.5 megawatts (MW) which gives the wind farm an overall installed capacity of up to 10 MW.

The wind farm is projected to generate enough renewable electricity to meet the annual domestic electricity consumption equivalent to around 5,420 homes.

Steve Salt, West Coast Energy Planning and Public Affairs Director, said: “West Coast Energy is pleased to announce our public exhibition for the proposed wind farm at Salden.

“We welcome the opportunity to speak with local residents, Councillors, organisations and local businesses about our renewable energy generation plans and for our proposed investment in the area.”

At the exhibition the public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposals, ask questions and put forward their views to the West Coast Energy project team.

West Coast Energy will outline to visitors their plans for the local communities in the area to directly benefit from the generation of renewable energy and have proposed that the local community would receive the higher of a guaranteed payment of £5,000 for each megawatt of installed generation capacity or 10 per cent of the profits from the wind farm as a community benefit fund.

Mr Salt added: “West Coast Energy is committed to the principle that local communities should benefit financially from the generation of locally produced renewable energy.

“We are prepared to provide a guaranteed annual payment of £5,000 for each megawatt of generation capacity which is installed at the wind farm.

“Based upon a four turbine development, with an installed capacity of 10 MW, the guaranteed community benefit fund would amount to an initial annual payment of £50,000 per annum and with inflation to around £1.3 million over the operational life of the wind farm.”

It is proposed that part of the community benefit fund will initially be targeted towards initiatives that help tackle fuel poverty in the region.

West Coast Energy’s proposal is that for the first five years, 50 per cent of the community fund will be utilised to assist the alleviation of fuel poverty in the local and wider area. A local Community Development Trust will then decide whether to continue targeting fuel poverty or fund other initiatives.

Fuel poverty alleviation will take place through West Coast Energy’s partnership with the NEA (National Energy Action), a national charity that aims to eradicate fuel poverty and campaigns for greater investment in energy efficiency to help those who are vulnerable.

If planning permission is granted for Salden Wind Farm, West Coast Energy will work in partnership with NEA and Aylesbury Vale District Council as well as any other local fuel poverty or energy efficiency groups, with the aim of targeting the Salden Wind Farm’s Community Fund towards the region’s fuel poverty issues.

“We believe it is important to fully consult with local residents before we submit our planning application to Aylesbury Vale District Council,” added Mr Salt.

“We want to build a purposeful and effective dialogue with the local community in the pre-application process in order that the community view is fully taken into account.

“West Coast Energy is committed to ensuring that the economic and social benefits arising from its wind farms are spread as widely as possible through society and is working to ensure that local communities benefit from, and have more of a stake in, hosting wind energy projects.”