Pennine Community Power’s community wind turbine at Blackshaw Head is up and running, generating an income for the local community.
Paul Wilson, a PCP founding director, says
“We would like to thank everyone who has helped us with this project – not least the 65 shareholders who invested between £250 and £1000 in the turbine.”
You can see a live online feed of how much electricity the wind turbine is generating. By 11th November, the turbine had generated a total of 1130 kWh since it was connected to the grid on 30th October-2012. Finn Jensen, a PCP director, says,
“We expect it to generate around 20,000 kWh per year. The average UK household uses around 3,300-4,700 kWh p.a. – so the turbine is just a drop in the ocean!”
PCP feel that their model of a community owned energy project, where the benefits of the income generated through the turbine are ploughed back into the community, is the way forward. The Government has a stated aim to encourage community ownership of energy projects, and PCP is proud to be at the forefront of this movement.
According to Finn Jensen, “We expect the turbine to generate an income for community benefit of around £100,000 once running costs (maintenance, shareholders, etc) have been paid. This is over the first 20 years – the turbine is expected to last longer, but the Feed in Tariff is for 20 years. We have not yet decided a policy on how this money will be distributed as we first have to build up a reserve. So at the moment we cannot promise anything but when we have a reserve I expect we will invite applications from local community groups.”
PCP is happy to share their experience of setting up a community benefit enterprise with others.
“As demonstrated by our presentation at a Cooperatives North West meeting in Preston recently, we are willing to help other communities looking to set up similar enterprises. It has been a steep learning curve for the PCP directors and we would welcome the opportunity to share our experiences with other communities”, says director Dr Ashley Sharp.