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Yelvertoft Wind Farm update

January 29, 2013

MM92_2Turbine deliveries starting this week

Over the past few weeks the final preparations have been made at the Yelvertoft Wind Farm site in advance of the large turbine components being delivered. The tracks are complete, cabling has been laid and all the foundations are now ready for the installation of the turbines.

Deliveries of the blades, tower sections, hubs and nacelles will be starting this week. The large loads will come to site from the M1 motorway, exiting at Junction 18 near Crick and passing through the Eldon Way Industrial Estate. You can find a map of the delivery route in our newsletter, available on our website.

We expect there will be deliveries of components almost every week day through February, with some on Saturday mornings. The final deliveries are expected during the first week of March.

To allow the large loads to pass through the industrial estate, a temporary parking restriction has been put in place on Eldon Way which will remain throughout the period of the deliveries. The large loads will be escorted by the police and will avoid peak traffic times.

If you have any questions about the deliveries please call us on freephone 0800 077 8951. You can also keep up to date with news from the site on Twitter, search for @Turbine_5 to follow our tweets.

Yelvertoft Wind Farm
http://www.yelvertoft-windfarm.co.uk

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thThe UK and Ireland have pledged to work together to secure economic benefits for both countries through renewable energy trading.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey and his Irish counterpart Pat Rabbitte in Dublin. The two countries have agreed to investigate ways to achieve more cost efficient uses of resources, drive down deployment costs and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

It is hoped that through the MoU, an inter-governmental agreement could be signed in 2014 in time for potential projects to start exporting wind energy from Ireland to Britain by 2020.

Rabbitte said today that Ireland has “the potential to generate far more wind energy than we could consume domestically. The opportunity to export this green power presents an opportunity for employment growth and export earnings which we must seize if we can.”

He added: “We will tease out the very complex engineering and market issues so that in a year’s time, we will be in a position to make an inter-governmental agreement providing a formal basis for energy trading.”

Davey said that trading power with Ireland “could increase the amount of green power in our energy mix and potentially bring down costs for UK consumers”.

Trade organisation RenewableUK hailed the signing of the agreement as “the start of an ambitious project which could bring enormous economic and environmental gains for both countries”.

Its deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: “Major initiatives like this create significant opportunities for British companies to help build infrastructure, for example manufacturing and laying undersea cables.

“Connecting supplies between countries also gives us the opportunity to feed more electricity from renewable sources into the grid at any one time, so that we can cut down on the amount of expensive old-school fossil fuels we have to import.”

He added that he hoped interconnectors between countries would eventually be developed across Europe. “We can’t control the international price of gas, but we know exactly how cost-effective wind energy is, so it’s in everyone’s interest to ensure this goes ahead as part of moves to put in place interconnection across the continent.”

Source – http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/01/uk-and-ireland-sign-pact-on-renewable-energy-trading?cmpid=SolarNL-Saturday-January26-2013

poplarsturbinePoplars Farm in Wappenham have submitted a planning application to South Northants Council for a single free standing wind turbine, with hard standing, an access road, a substation and trenching for cable.

Local farmer Aidan Jones wants to erect a single large wind turbine on his land between the villages of Syresham and Wappenham, close to National Cycle Route 50. There has been the inevitable opposition to his plans. If any of you – particularly those who live in the district or cyclists – could support Aidan’s plans, it would be much appreciated.

http://snc.planning-register.co.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=68383

DSCF1216_editedHaversham Wind Farm (recommended by officers for refusal)

Developer (RWE N-Power) have sent to appeal already.

Positive Speakers

Robin Baston RWE N-Power
• No Stake Holder objections
• Fulfils statutory obligations
• £30k pa community fund
• Well sited, well designed proposal
• Provided local economic growth

Alan Francis, local Green Party Parish Councillor for the Green Party
• Climate change having an effect
• Unwise for UK to depend on imported gas and oil
• Council’s report does not mention local planning policy that supports renewable energy
• Council signed up to reduce CO2 needs wind farms to do this
• SPD being used to refuse planning, despite contradicting national planning policy and local policies.
• NPPF says planning should support renewable energy

Councillor Middleton
• Spoke about the need for alternatives to unsustainable power sources and rising energy costs.

4 councillors voted to support officers’ recommendation to refuse planning and challenge appeal, 4 voted against, chair decided to uphold recommendation.

Nun Wood Wind Farm (again recommended for refusal)

Council has previously unanimously refused planning, overturned at appeal, council successfully challenged appeal, developer re-proposing/challenging councils successful challenge.

This time 4 councillors voted to support officers’ recommendation to refuse planning, 4 voted against, chair decided to uphold recommendation.

DSCF1186_editedMuch opposition to wind power appears to be based on the belief that it is an ineffective technology, inefficient or unreliable. This claim is untrue and it is important to get ‘beyond the bluster’ in assessing the effectiveness of wind power.

The report addresses two commonly held misconceptions around two important, often misunderstood, questions:
•Is wind power an effective way of reducing carbon emissions?
•Is wind power a secure and reliable source of energy for the UK?

It shows unequivocally that wind power can significantly reduce carbon emissions, is reliable, poses no threat to energy security, and is technically capable of providing a significant proportion of the UK’s electricity supply with minimal impact on the existing operation of the grid.

The conclusions of the report note that:
•It is inaccurate to describe the output from wind power as ‘unpredictable’.
•In the short term, wind power output is remarkably stable and increases and decreases only very slowly.
•The risks associated with ‘long, cold, calm spells’ have been overstated.
•In the UK, National Grid has reported that up to 30GW of wind power can be accommodated even if no changes are made to the way that the electricity system functions.
•In the longer term, there are numerous technological options to facilitate much greater amounts of wind power – such as improved interconnection with other countries and intelligent management of supply and demand through a ‘smart grid’.
•For these reasons the authors conclude that wind power can play a major role in a secure and reliable future electricity system.

Source – IPPR.  IPPR has worked with GL Garrad Hassan, a leading renewable energy consultancy, to produce this report, and the findings have been reviewed by a leading academic. The paper features a foreword by Reg Platt of IPPR, and a technical report by Oscar Fitch-Roy and Paul Gardner of GL Garrad Hassan.

DSCF1140_editedBroadview Energy has reacted with disappointment to news that planning permission has been quashed for the proposed Spring Farm Ridge wind farm, following a successful legal challenge in the High Court by a local resident and South Northamptonshire Council.

Planning permission was granted by the government’s Planning Inspectorate for the erection of five wind turbines on agricultural land between the villages of Helmdon, Greatworth and Sulgrave in July of 2012, after completion of a two week long public inquiry. Following the granting of planning permission, a legal challenge was launched by South Northamptonshire Council and a local resident claiming that the inspector’s decision was unlawful on five separate grounds.

A High Court hearing subsequently took place in December of last year and the ruling, which was announced today, quashed the planning permission. It is important to note that the judge dismissed four of the five grounds in the challenges, specifically the impact assessments with respect to listed buildings, cultural heritage, noise and residential amenity. However, the remaining challenge did succeed, as Judge Mackie concluded that the planning inspector’s decision letter did not meet planning law requirements. Despite the decision in the High Court, the Spring Farm Ridge site is a well designed wind farm in an excellent location and Broadview will look to the Planning Inspectorate to initiate the process of re-determining the planning appeal.

Jeffrey Corrigan, Managing Director of Broadview Energy said: “We are obviously disappointed the judge has found that the inspector did not follow what was required of her by law when issuing her decision. This is especially so following the completion of an extensive and thorough public inquiry which was the culmination of a number of years of work resulting in significant cost for all parties. It is important to recognise that the main substance of the inspector’s judgement as to the acceptability of the scheme was not called into question and we will therefore look to work closely with the government’s Planning Inspectorate regarding the next steps.”

DSCF1169_editedSouth Northamptonshire Council has won a legal challenge against a planning inspector’s decision to approve a wind farm it claimed would cause a noise nuisance and have a damaging visual impact on the area.

South Northamptonshire Council originally refused the plans, for five wind turbines, each 125 metres tall, at Spring Farm Ridge, between Greatworth and Helmdon, in June 2011.

However, following an appeal by developer, Broadview Energy Limited, a planning inspector granted approval in July 2012.

Yesterday, Judge Mackie at London’s High Court ruled that the inspector failed to attach proper weight to policies in the council’s local development plan relating to protecting the landscape, heritage assets in the area and residential amenity.

The council is now seeking the judge’s confirmation of an order quashing the planning permission, and ordering the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, to have the matter reconsidered.

While acknowledging that the court should not readily interfere with an inspector’s decision, the judge said: “Nevertheless many people see their lives as being fundamentally affected by a decision to permit a large wind farm in their community. They are entitled to know whether the law has been followed by an Inspector whose decision is so crucial to them.”

He said that there was no doubt that the inspector identified the relevant development plan and “conscientiously weighed up the competing factors”.

However, he continued: “But as I read the decision she did not accord the development plan the priority required by law. At no point does she mention the priority due to the plan or express herself in terms that indicate that she is aware of the ‘plan led’ concept.”

“Recognising that I need to read the decision in a down to earth way as a whole and in context I detect no identification of the priority to be given to the plan. The exercise is a careful evaluation of competing considerations without any indication that the plan has priority.”

Lawyers for the government had argued that the inspector applied the correct test in granting planning permission and conducted a detailed assessment of the impact the development would have.

By Court reporter Thursday, 17 January 2013