Independent renewable energy firm Banks Renewables is applying for extensions to the permitted lifespan for its four onshore wind farms in Yorkshire.
The Hook Moor Wind Farm to the east of Leeds, the Penny Hill scheme near Sheffield, the Marr Wind Farm to the west of Doncaster and the Hazlehead Wind Farm near Barnsley have all been generating clean green electricity for between seven and 11 years, and were each originally given planning permission to operate for 25 years.
But having carried out comprehensive regular maintenance work on the turbines at each site and reviewed their efficient ongoing operational performance, the family firm has now decided to look for permission to extend the lifespan of each of the wind farms by 15 years, to 40 years’ duration.
Planning applications for the lifespan extensions have been submitted to the relevant local authority in each area, with a view to them being considered in the coming months.
No other aspects of the wind farms would change as part of the planning applications, no new turbines are being planned and all the existing planning conditions under which they currently operate, including those which protect the residential amenity of local residents, would remain unaltered.
Banks’ four Yorkshire wind farms generated enough electricity in the company’s last financial year to meet the annual electricity needs of more than 29,000 homes, which is the equivalent of a town the size of Pontefract.
They displaced around 18,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the UK’s electricity supply network during the 12 months in question and also delivered total revenues of over £50,000 for their respective community funds, which provide financial support for local community and environmental projects being undertaken by their respective local communities.
Each community fund would also be extended for a further 15 years if the related planning application is approved.
Banks Renewables is one of the leading owner/operators in the UK’s onshore wind sector and has a total of eight operational sites across northern England, with a further two in Scotland and plans for more to follow.
It is also currently looking to deploy further renewable energy technologies at a number of new sites within and outside Yorkshire.
Lewis Stokes, senior community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “Our Yorkshire wind farms have all been operating efficiently for many years, and our aim is to maximise the significant environmental, energy security and community benefits they can deliver, a process which extending their respective permitted lifespans would allow us to do.
“Many communities across the county have benefited from revenues generated by each wind farm and extending their lifespans would mean even more capital would be available to support projects across surrounding areas.
“Generating as much of the energy that we all use via renewables is a crucial part of the UK’s journey towards its Net Zero targets and will enable the country to decarbonise its power supply and achieve its climate change targets more quickly than would otherwise be possible.”