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Saundby wind farm plans scrapped after subsidy blow

Another wind farm planned on Bassetlaw land has bitten the dust after the Government pulled a subsidy scheme from under developers. Plans for six turbines on land near Saundby that many residents feared would over-industrialise the Trentside landscape have now been shelved.

Another wind farm planned on Bassetlaw land has bitten the dust after the Government pulled a subsidy scheme from under developers.

Plans for six turbines on land near Saundby that many residents feared would over-industrialise the Trentside landscape have now been shelved.

Developer Partnerships for Renewables (PfR) announced that it has asked Bassetlaw Council to withdraw its planning application for land owned by the Environment Agency due to recent changes in government policy.

It follows a similar announcement from EDF Energy Renewables who pulled out of a scheme at Sturton-le-Steeple last week – just five miles from the proposed Saundby site – for the same reason.

The move has delighted opponents to the Saundby blueprint, including Beckingham-cum-Saundby Parish Council chair, Kevin Senior.

"We're very pleased – it should never have been proposed," he said.

"Those against it think that Beckingham, Bole and Sturton have played their part in energy production.

"The site picked had historical interest, having had a World War I airfield there, and the nearby Beckingham Marshes reserve could have been affected by it as it's on a migration path for birds.

"The residents were totally against it."

Mr Senior said wind farms on land are a "dying entity" because of the less predictable wind patterns compared to offshore sites.

In June, the new Government announced that the Renewable Obligation (RO), the main price support mechanism for larger renewable projects, would end a year early in April 2016.

The Government has also refused so far to confirm that onshore wind will remain eligible for the new Contracts for Difference or CfDs.

Had the Saundby project gone ahead, PfR expected it would have generated almost 33GWh of renewable energy a year – enough to power around 7,900 homes.

Stephen Ainger, chief executive of PfR, said: "We regret that we have been left with no choice but to withdraw our Saundby project.

"It is an excellent site for wind energy generation and the development would have bought real benefit to the local community in terms of the business opportunities for local companies, business rates paid to the local authority and a substantial community benefit fund.

"With a delivery deadline of 2017 coming up for the RO, the industry was working hard towards being able to deliver onshore wind without subsidy.

"However, now that the deadline has been brought forward to next April a lot of investmentin projects across the country will inevitably be wasted.

"With onshore wind being the most cost effective large-scale renewable technology, reducing the number of new projects means other more expensive technologies will have to be built instead, leading to increased costs and therefore, higher bills."

PfR committed to a community benefits package at Saundby of £5,000/MW a year, amounting to at least £75,000 for each year of the project's lifetime, normally 20 to 25 years.

The fund would have been administered independently by representatives of the local community.

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Source: http://www.retfordtimes.co....

SEP 24 2015
http://www.windaction.org/posts/43475-saundby-wind-farm-plans-scrapped-after-subsidy-blow
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