Early in 2014, a resident indicated that there could be substantial benefits for village residents through the village generating its own electricity through sustainable sources (e.g. wind or solar energy). The Parish Council was therefore keen to find out more – and formed a small team to establish if such a scheme could be viable and get an idea of the type and scale of expected benefits.
The team’s work has now concluded that a scheme could be viable provided a suitable site with the ability to connect to the national electricity network could be found. Although the likely benefits fall some way short of initial claims of “free electricity for all” they still could be significant by providing:
An annual income of around £5,000 into a community fund for village projects
A good return rate for local people investing in the project
through generating the equivalent of over half of the village's average domestic electricity consumption for sale back to the national electricity grid.
However, subsequent discussions with Western Power Distribution has revealed that there are problems with available grid capacity in the locality – and this situation s likely to be the case for the next few years until planned network upgrades have taken place.
The project has therefore been put on hold until the situation changes – whilst appreciating that there may be significant changes in technology, finance and legislation in the meantime which would mean that the situation to need to be reappraised afresh if it were to be revisited in the future. We appreciate that wind turbines and solar farms can potentially be an emotive and divisive issue and would therefore we would seek the views of the community if the time comes when a scheme looked like it could be practical and viable.
A report containing details of the team’s work and conclusions can be downloaded here >>>>.