Forum calls for community turbine

A COMMUNITY wind turbine could be erected in Widdrington following requests from a residents’ group.

The Coastal Villages Community Forum has called on Novera Energy to consider installing the kit on a separate site to its main Sisters scheme.

The turbine would be smaller than the company’s equipment and would require separate grid connections to enable the community to claim money back for any power it produces.

Forum member Brenda Fordy-Scott said: “The community forum is in favour of the Sisters windfarm for all sorts of reasons and wants to work with Novera to see what we can do about a community turbine.

“Novera has been very good to work with and has listened when we have talked about community benefits.

“It has established good relations with the community forum.”

Novera, which is part of the Infinis group, says it is investigating the possibility of funding a community turbine as part of a local benefits scheme.

The company says that if the Sisters plans go ahead it would provide between £16,000 and £20,000 of community benefit funding a year, for an estimated 25 years, depending on the amount of power produced by the scheme.

The project team welcomed the strong turnout for its recent exhibitions about the proposals, which included a 3D computer visualisation of the windfarm.

A spokeswoman for Novera said: “We had over 100 people at the exhibitions and we were very pleased with the attendance.

“We were also pleased with the positive way that we were received at both exhibitions and I think the local people appreciated being able to see exactly what the windfarm would look like from their own houses.

“I think a lot of people were reassured by seeing that.”

A formal application for the scheme is expected to be submitted to Northumberland County Council in the spring.

If approved, construction work would start in late 2012 and the windfarm would be operational the following year.