Partnerships for Renewables

Member Article

Wind energy project opened at Kent prison

A new wind farm development was unveiled on prison land on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent on Friday.

Energy developer Partnerships for Renewable (PfR) build the two-turbine development at HMP Standford Hill, a men’s prison near the village of Eastchurch on the east coast.

The 4.6MW project was a joint venture between the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Sheppey Prisons Cluster, and was opened by MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Gordon Henderson.

MoJ will take rent for the turbines, based on a percentage sale from the electricity generated, which will save public money and create clean energy on public land.

Sarah Coccia, governor of the Sheppey Prison Cluster, commented: “One of the responsibilities of my role as Governor is to find ways to reduce the overheads of the prison and therefore provide better value for the taxpayer.

“The development of the wind energy park has been fascinating to both watch and be part of. I am very proud to be able to view these turbines, now built, from my office window!”

PfR said it hopes to operate a private wire in the future, subject to the public procurement process, so the prison can directly benefit from electricity generated by the turbine project.

Mr Henderson, MP, said: “I am a big supporter of renewable energy, not only from an environmental perspective, but because I believe it is vital to long term energy security in our country.

“Despite what the critics would have us believe, wind can become a cheap and clean energy source.

“Of course, where wind turbines are located is important. I believe that on balance these two turbines are in an acceptable location which is why I am delighted to officially switch them on.”

Sensitivity to the community and the environment was a key part of the project’s implementation, according to PfR, who took efforts to make sure local reptile species and bird habitats were protected.

Furthermore, a contribution of more than £10,000 a year will be made to a community benefit to fund projects in the local area, which will be allocated by local parish councillors, stakeholder groups and residents.

PfR’s chief executive, Stephen Ainger, commented: “I am delighted that we have reached the milestone of our first development project to generate power.

“Standford Hill sets us on the way to achieving our target portfolio of 460MW of onshore wind generating capacity, the majority of which will be delivered in partnership with public bodies.

“This is a big step for our company and its partners, and I hope it is a development that both the Ministry of Justice and the Isle of Sheppey can feel proud of.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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