Homeowners near Ellington wind farm will save on energy bills

Wind farm

Wind farm - Credit: Archant

Nearly 300 homeowners near Woolley Hill Wind Farm will be able to claim money off their electricity bills.

RES UK, the company developing the four-turbine site, near Ellington, is offering a Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS) of up to £100 a year to homes, business and community buildings within two kilometres of the wind farm when it is completed.

The scheme is in addition to the £20,000-a-year Community Benefit Scheme with the first payments expected to be made in 2015.

Jon Knight, RES project manager, said: “LEDS is an exciting new form of community benefit which seeks to deliver direct and tangible benefits to people living and working closest to our wind farms in the form of a discount to their electricity bills.

“Feedback received from consultation with communities near both existing and potential development sites has highlighted that people feel cheaper electricity is a practical benefit RES could offer.

“We have introduced the scheme successfully at other sites around the UK and I’m delighted that RES is now able to offer LEDS to people living and working near Woolley Hill Wind Farm.

“The discount, which is index linked, will be paid for the full operational life of the wind farm – around 25 years. If someone moves out of an eligible property during that time, then the annual discount will become available to the new electricity bill payer for the property.”

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Ron Ward, chairman of the former Woolley Hill Action Group, which disbanded after the planning inspectorate upheld RES’s appeal, said: “It’s a pleasant surprise in a poor situation. It seems rather strange that they are doing it now after they’ve got the go-ahead and are about to start work. The £100 is welcome, but we’d rather they keep the £100 and not have a wind farm. Unfortunately that’s not to be.”

Elsewhere in the district, Cotton Farm Wind Farm, in Graveley, has been sold to Greencoat UK Wind by BayWa, which bought the site from NPower RWE in 2010.