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Rotherham Council backs Penny Hill wind farm lifespan extension plans

Published on 5 Jul 2023

An application to extend the maximum lifespan of a successful South Yorkshire wind farm has been approved by Rotherham Council.

After carrying out regular maintenance work at the Penny Hill Wind Farm and reviewing its ongoing operational performance, renewable energy firm Banks Renewables announced plans last year to look for permission to extend the scheme’s lifespan by 15 years, up to 40 years’ duration.

The six-turbine wind farm, which sits to the south east of Rotherham and west of the junction of the M1 and M18, has been operational since 2013, and will now potentially be able to continue generating green electricity up to 2043.

No other aspects of the wind farm will change as part of the planning application, no new turbines are being planned and all the existing planning conditions under which it operates, including those which protect the residential amenity of local residents, remain unaltered.

The Penny Hill Wind Farm generated more than 37,500 MWh of green electricity during Banks Renewables’ last financial year, which is enough to meet the annual electrical requirements of over 12,000 homes.

It also generates around £22,000 every year for the Penny Hill Wind Farm Benefits Fund, which supports community and environmental projects put forward by local voluntary groups and charities, and which will also now be extended.

The four Yorkshire wind farms owned and operated by Banks Renewables, which include the Hook Moor scheme to the east of Leeds, the Marr wind farm to the west of Doncaster and the Hazlehead wind near Barnsley, generated enough electricity in the company’s last financial year to meet the annual electricity needs of more 32,300 homes – or a city roughly the size of Wakefield.

The company is also looking to develop a major new solar energy generation and battery energy storage project at Dinnington, close to the Penny Hill Wind Farm, and is currently progressing plans for a groundbreaking new green energy hub at the former Thorpe Marsh power station site near Doncaster, which includes what is thought to be the largest battery energy storage system currently being planned in the UK.

Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “The Penny Hill Wind Farm has been generating significant amounts of clean green electricity for a decade and we’re very pleased that we will now be able to increase the contribution it can make towards meeting the UK’s Net Zero targets.

Extending the wind farm’s lifespan will help us maximise the environmental, energy security and social benefits that it can deliver, as well as to provide even more benefits directly into surrounding communities.

Generating as much of the energy that we all use as we can via renewable means will enable the country to decarbonise its power supply and achieve its climate change targets more quickly than would otherwise be possible.”

For further information on the Penny Hill Wind Farm, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/pennyhill

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