The content below has been reproduced from an e-newsletter received yesterday:
Vattenfall reduces size of wind development and maintains significant community investment opportunity.
Following the feedback received from local residents during the June engagement events, we have been working with other stakeholders and technical consultants to produce a revised project layout. The new layout has reduced the scheme by more than 10%, and is designed to provide best value to the UK consumer and deliver a substantial community investment opportunity.
Project reduced in size
The changes meant a proposed reduction in the number of turbines from 23 to 20 as well as addressing visual and environmental issues. Turbines have been moved further away from properties and the River Witham as a result of community feedback and technical assessments. The new layout offers more than a 10% reduction in the number of turbines and a reduction in the overall project area by approximately one third.
Retaining local benefit
This multimillion pound investment offers significant potential benefits for the local community and economy to deliver real, long term sustainability. The reduced scheme would still deliver a community fund worth more than £300,000 per year for 25 years of the project lifetime (based on an assumption of 20 x 3MW turbines).
Delivering best value to the British consumer
Delivering energy at the lowest cost to the taxpayer and consumers is an important challenge for government and the whole renewables sector, not just onshore wind. Vattenfall is working hard to reduce the cost of energy from its wind farms.
To provide best value to the UK consumer, the revised scheme retains the originally proposed 149.5m tip height in order to maximise the use of available wind resource, ensuring the scheme can do more with less: less land/fewer turbines; delivering affordable, cost-competitive energy.
We will now, alongside our technical consultants, continue assessment work of the potential project impacts. The results will be published as part of the Preliminary Environmental Information in advance of the formal consultation.
Vattenfall will be talking to local stakeholders about the revised scheme in the coming weeks, and expects to publish the revised layout shortly. We will also be providing further information in the coming weeks to address questions raised during the June events, particularly around the potential construction works.
The revised scheme will form a central part of the formal consultation early in 2015 where local residents and other stakeholders will be able to see revised photomontages and 3D models, and have an opportunity to formally comment on the project.
A planning application is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in late 2015.
Exploring opportunities with local residents and businesses
Over the coming months we will be inviting local residents and businesses to workshops in the local area to discuss community investment and business supply-chain opportunities.
Thank you to those residents who have already expressed an interest in getting involved with the work to develop and explore the community investment opportunity – we will be in touch shortly with further information. We are still keen to hear from more residents, so please do let us know if you are interested in shaping the community investment proposals.
If consented, the Nocton Fen wind energy development would offer significant opportunities for local businesses to be part of the extensive supply-chain during the project construction process. We will shortly be starting work with local businesses, business groups and local authorities to explore this opportunity to see how we can best support local businesses to benefit from renewable energy projects in their region."