A renewable energy business is set to build its third wind farm in Yorkshire thanks to a £21.9 million funding agreement with the Co-operative Bank.
Banks Renewables are now set to begin work on the Penny Hill Wind Farm, in a move which will create 30 jobs and contracts for local suppliers and subcontractors.
The agreement will further strengthen Bank’s relationship with the Co-operative Bank, who have previously provided funding for the firm’s Marr and Hazlehead wind farms in the county and the Armistead scheme in Cumbria.
Neil Brown, group commercial director at the Banks Group, says: “Starting work on our latest onshore wind farm reinforces Banks’ position as one of the leading owner/operators in the UK industry, and we have a number of other sites across our portfolio of developing wind schemes in the north of England and Scotland that will be moving forward in the near future.
“Carefully designed and sensibly-sited onshore wind farms are viewed by the government as the cheapest form of renewable energy generation, and are central to achieving the twin goals of increasing the amount of indigenous energy that the UK produces by renewable means and continuing to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that we produce as a nation.
The turbines will be supplied by REpower, and will have a capacity of 3.4MW, the highest ever used in a UK wind farm. They are expected to be delivered to the site by early 2012, with connection to the local grid expected to be finished in late 2013.
When it is connected, Penny Hill will have the capacity to meet the consumption requirements of around 10,000 homes. A related benefits fund worth around £20,000 every year - or approximately £500,000 across the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm - will enable Banks to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people, to help ensure tangible, long-term benefits result from the company’s presence in the area.
Banks have already made a further £50,000 investment to establish a Warm Zone scheme in Rotherham, which will deliver practical measures to local homes to alleviate fuel poverty and improve domestic energy efficiency.
On average, Warm Zones can lead to benefits worth around £3 million to the area, which includes grants for energy efficiency improvements.
James Sutcliffe, Senior Manager in The Co-operative Bank’s Renewable Energy Team, added: “We’re delighted to be backing Banks Renewables with this project and be playing a part in helping their ambitious strategy to develop more renewable energy schemes, where they already have a proven track record.
“We believe medium scale renewables projects such as these can make a significant contribution to the country’s future energy mix and help with the required transition to a low carbon economy.”