Kelda Water Services (sister company of Yorkshire Water) shortly intends to submit a planning application for a wind energy development off Penny Pot Lane, across the road from the existing Knabs Ridge Wind Farm in the Washburn Valley.
The planning permission to build seven turbines, with a maximum tip height of up to 100m. In the existing Knabs Ridge site, which is not connected to Kelda. The turbines planned are around 95m in tip height. The electricity generated will be pre-sold to Yorkshire Water, but will transmitted via the national grid.
As a company, Kelda uses a lot of energy to provide safe, high quality drinking water and to remove and treat waste for its 4.8 million customers across the region. This energy is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, which emit damaging carbon into the atmosphere.
This same energy that has to be purchased is also both expensive and volatile in price and like many others Kelda has experienced significant rises in electricity prices in recent years and the company’s annual bill now stands at £45m year.
By generating their own energy from sustainable sources such as wind, Kelda can significantly reduce carbon emissions and help protect customer bills in the future from the impact of unpredictable energy prices. This is why the company has set a target of generating up to 50% of its own energy from renewable sources by 2020.
To help to meet that target, in February they began public consultation on the initial ideas for the Penny Pot Lane wind development. This involved sending a newsletter which outlined the proposals to around 5,500 properties in the surrounding area, holding two public exhibitions in the Washburn Heritage Centre at which staff were on hand to answer questions and conducting face-to-face surveys with residents in the Harrogate area.
Between questionnaires handed out at the exhibitions and the face-to-face surveys, 370 people gave their views on the proposals, all from the local area. 38% said they oppose the scheme, 55% said they support the scheme and 7% are neutral.
Following this first stage of consultation, Kelda Water Services have continued to collect information about the site. The results of the environmental surveys, the position of the proposed wind turbines in relation to the existing Knabs Ridge Wind Farm and other constraints on site have all been considered in the final layout, and have resulted in a revised layout.
KWS will shortly be in a position to submit a planning application to Harrogate District Council. Prior to submitting the application, they will be holding a further round of consultation on the updated proposals. This will include two public exhibitions, to give local people a further opportunity to see the proposals and to talk to the team.
Those exhibitions will be held on Monday 28th May between 4.30pm and 7pm in Harrogate Grammar
School, Arthurs Avenue, HG2 0DZ and on Tuesday 29th May between 4.30pm and 7pm in the Washburn Heritage Centre, Fewston Church, Fewston, HG3 1SU.