Sunday, 26th October 2014

£22m plan for huge windfarm

A giant hi-tech windfarm powering thousands of homes will be created near Shrewsbury in a £22 million renewable energy scheme – if ambitious plans get the go-ahead.

EDF Energy Renewables, one of the UK’s largest energy companies, is in initial discussions with Shropshire Council over plans to install a major wind farm spanning four connecting sites between the villages of Minsterley and Worthen, near Shrewsbury.

The Aston Brook windfarm, taking its name from a watercourse running through the site, will create enough clean energy to power about 7,500 homes in the Shrewsbury area and save more than 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Formal proposals are expected to be lodged by the end of 2012.

It includes eight large 127 metre high wind turbines, two on each site, with enough capacity to produce 16MW of electricity annually which will be connected into the local grid network at a point close to the site.

Developers said they were excited about the plans, which will see £22 million pumped into the scheme if approved. Up to £3 million of that investment would be spent directly on local services and contractors during the construction phase.

The four landowners on board with the project will get a commercial rent from EDF for allowing turbines on their grassland.

Darren Cuming, EDF development manager for the project, said: “EDF already has over 20 operational windfarms and this is one of the areas we have found suitable.

“We have been assessing the feasibility of the site for the past six months.

“To construct and get the windfarm up and running about £22 million would be invested and as much as 10 to 15 per cent would be spent directly on local contractors and other services.”

The local community will have chance to comment on the project when a series of public exhibitions is held later in the year.

Plans have also been submitted for a temporary meteorological monitoring mast at the site to gather information on weather conditions and wind-speeds, and assess the ongoing viability of the project.