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Renewable Energy Farm - full proposal

Week St Mary Renewable Energy Farm

We’re Good Energy

Founded in 1997, our aim has always been to help tackle climate change
by giving people the opportunity to buy and use electricity generated
from UK renewable sources, rather than imported fossil fuels.
Based in the South West - in Wiltshire - we were the country’s first
dedicated 100% renewable electricity supplier. Fifteen years later
we’re still the only supplier committed to sourcing all its electricity from
renewables. We have over 30,000 electricity customers and support
over 40,000 homes, businesses and communities generating their own
energy from sunshine, wind and water – 500 of which are in Cornwall.

We also have our own wind farm in Delabole, North Cornwall.

We believe that by 2050 the UK could be powered purely by renewables,
ensuring a secure and stable energy system for generations to come. It
won’t be easy, but the development we’re proposing at Week St Mary is
a significant step towards achieving this. It will also make an important
contribution to Cornwall’s own target of 20% of energy consumption
coming from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2020.

Our Development Charter, which you’ll find on the next page, lays
out the approach we’re committed to taking when developing new
renewable energy sites. Our hope is that more developers will adopt the
charter, helping to create a responsible and ethical industry that puts
communities at the heart of renewable energy generation.

Good Energy Development Charter

As a responsible and ethical company, we pledge to take the following
approach to new renewable energy sites:
? We will offer a discounted local electricity tariff to those households
closest to any onshore wind farm we develop over 4MW in capacity.

The local tariff will be 20% cheaper than Good Energy’s standard
electricity tariff. If the site performs well, an additional discount may
be offered to reflect that.
? We will engage fully and openly with those communities closest
to any proposed site and, where possible, consider any alternative
suggestions for the size, layout and presentation of that site.
? We will ensure that any site we develop acts as a vehicle for
community investment, whether it be through independently
administered community funds, direct investment from Good
Energy or a combination of both.
? We will explore opportunities to offer community investment or
ownership of the sites we develop, so that the greatest number of
people possible can benefit throughout the 25 year life span.

Our proposal for Week St Mary

Cornwall is blessed with abundant natural resources. In previous
decades the elements tin and copper fuelled the economy, provided
employment and defined a culture. Today we believe a different type of
element - wind, water and sunshine - can offer Cornwall similar benefits.

The development we’re proposing is 14 wind turbines, and 15MW of solar
panels on 80 acres, with the potential to power around 20,000 homes.
The land we hope to use is owned by six local farms, all of which will
continue as traditional businesses with dairy herds, beef, sheep, pigs and
arable crops. At a time when farming is becoming increasingly difficult
due to rising fuel and fertiliser prices and falling wholesale food prices,
harnessing natural resources to generate electricity is an opportunity
to diversify and create a sustainable farming future. The farms are in a
great location for renewable energy development, so the landowners
were happy for us to investigate the site further.

Steady wind speeds and strong sunshine mean a large amount of clean
electricity will be generated; and because the land is in a natural bowl, its
visual impact will be reduced. The site is easily accessible from the A39
(just 3.7 miles away) and already has two lines of high voltage pylons
running across it. This means there will be little additional infrastructure
needed to develop the site and connect it to the local electricity grid.

On the next pages are a few more technical details, maps and images.

Week St Mary Solar Park

Number of turbines/solar panels: Up to 14 turbines Up to 65,000 solar PV panels
Size of development: Up to 80 acres
Life expectancy of development: 25 years
Height of technology: Up to 125m (to tip)
Turbine/panel capacity 2.3 MegaWatts (MW,) 200-250 Watts (W) per panel
Total capacity: 32 MegaWatts (MW) Up to 15 MegaWatts (MW)
Annual generation 80,000 MegaWatt hours (MWh) plus 13,000 MegaWatt hours (MWh)
Approximate number of homes powered*: 17,000 and 3,000
*Based on average consumption of 5,000 kiloWatt hours (kWh)
Boundary of involved land ownership

Please come along to our public consultation where all of our images will be on display.

Our hope is that the fund will create a positive legacy lasting long after
the lifetime of the development, inspiring future generations into positive,
sustainable lifestyles. Exactly how it does this is up you.

In the first two years of the fund we set up at our wind farm in Delabole, the
local school, sports club and parish council all received finance for projects.
These include upgrading the Delabole Christmas lights with low-energy
bulbs, buying a new mower for the cricket club and installing more energy
efficient and hygienic hand dryers in the school toilets.
Judy Gidzewicz, Executive Headteacher at Delabole Community
Primary School said, “We received a grant from the Delabole Wind Farm
community benefit fund to install Dyson hand dryers in our children’s
cloakroom areas. We are delighted, as we wouldn’t have been able to do
it without the grant. They are far more hygienic and we have saved lots of
money as we no longer have to buy paper towels. We couldn’t have wished
for a better result.”

How your community can benefit

“Renewable energy has the ability to not only decarbonise nergy, but provide real community benefits.”
Steve Ford, Cornwall Council’s Green Cornwall

Wind power has an important role to play in meeting the UK’s future
energy needs and we think it’s only right that local communities should
be recognised for their contribution to tackling climate change and
reducing the country’s reliance on expensive imported fossil fuels.
There are three initiatives we’d like to introduce to make sure this
development creates tangible benefits for you and your community and
encourages a closer relationship with energy. We’re keen to hear your
ideas too, so please get in touch using the email address at the end of
this booklet.

A community fund

Having a sum of money available each year to invest in local projects is a
simple way to ensure long-term benefits for your community.
Every year we’ll pay £2,000 for every MW of the wind project and £1,000
for every MW of the solar project. Under our current proposal, this will
create an annual fund of £79,000 (rising with inflation). Residents in the
parishes of North Petherwin, Warbstow and Week St Mary will then be
invited to submit applications for projects they believe should receive
investment. A committee of community members will be selected to
choose how the money is spent.

A local electricity tariff

“My family and I have lived next to Delabole
Wind Farm since it was built in 1991 and
supported it whole heartedly through
its repower in 2010. I am a big fan of
renewable energy developments and feel
that Good Energy’s local electricity tariff is
a fantastic way for those of us living close
by to benefit.”
Neil, Dairy Farmer, Delabole

Our local electricity tariff will offer anybody living within 5km of Week
St Mary Renewable Energy Farm the opportunity to gain an immediate,
personal benefit. Sourced primarily from your local wind and solar
resources, the tariff will always be 20% cheaper than our standard
certified electricity tariff.

We’ve also created what we call a ‘wind farm windfall’. It’s an additional
discount on your electricity bill every time your local wind turbines
generate more electricity over the course of a year than we expect
them to.
We’re exploring the possibility of offering bespoke electricity pricing for
your local public buildings such as pubs, post offices, village halls and
schools too.

Investment opportunity

We hope to be able to offer you an opportunity to invest in the wind
farm which could provide an annual return linked to its performance.
As well as a possible financial benefit, we believe this encourages a
closer connection with the development and energy in general.

How your local economy can benefit

“It is often assumed that a significant
proportion of the economic impact
associated with onshore wind will occur
in countries with well-developed onshore
wind turbine manufacturing… This
assumption does not however reflect
the experience of many local economies
throughout the UK over the last few years,
which have experienced significant direct,
supply chain and wider economic benefits
from onshore deployment.”
Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), May 2012

While highly specialised construction workers are likely to come from
outside the region, the development will create local employment
opportunities. The solar park could take up to six months to construct
and the wind farm another six months; it’s possible these periods will
overlap. The local skills we expect to use during this time include:
? Civil engineering contractors
? Plant machinery operators
? Groundworkers
? Electrical contractors
? Security guards
Goods and services
Employees coming in from outside the local area will require
accommodation, food and drink, which will benefit local suppliers of
goods and services. This will continue throughout the development’s
life, from the community consultation to construction, operation
and maintenance.
Additional local services that we expect the project and its workforce to
need include:
? Aggregates
? Plant machinery
? Construction supplies

Below is an extract from a report published in May 2012 by the
Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC): ‘Onshore wind:
Direct and Wider Economic Impacts’. The development referred to is just
a quarter the size of the wind farm we’re proposing.

“The amount spent on contractors from the surrounding area
was £120,500 and included the following contracts: site security
(£50,000), traffic management (£6,000), scaffolders (£2,500),
local labour agency (£5,000), white liners (£1,500), fencing
(£20,000), roofers (£2,500), earthworks testing (£3,000) and
surfacing contractors (£23,000). A further £320,700 was spent on
local material suppliers including purchases from two aggregate
companies, two haulage companies, a steel company, a stone
suppliers, a pump hire company, a timber merchant and a waste
disposal company…”

Based on information from three case studies referred to in the DECC
research – which looked at the potential benefits to the local economy
of workers visiting an area, time spent in the area and levels of spending
– it was estimated that for every MW constructed, £7,500 of amenity
spend is in the local area.

Additional investment that we’re proposing, including the
community fund and the local electricity tariff, will amount to
approximately £4.2 million over the life of the development.

So, according to our research and project experience we expect this
development to generate the following income for the local economy:
Local contracts and employment £475,000
Locally sourced materials (aggregates etc) £1,250,000
Local services (work force accommodation, food, leisure) £400,000
Lifetime contribution of the community benefit funds £2,200,000
Lifetime contribution of the local tariff £2,000,000
Total £6,325,000

Will local tourism be affected?

In 2012 the Cornish tourist organisation, CoaST (Cornwall Sustainable
Tourism Project) posed this question to its network of tourist businesses.
Thirty two businesses responded saying that in general very few tourists
express a view on wind farms and when they do it tends to be neutral or
favourable. In terms of how business owners feel; 79% find wind turbines
have a positive or neutral effect on tourists’ view of Cornwall and 78%
find that turbines have a positive or neutral effect on their business. We’re
currently building on this research ourselves, incorporating a wider sample
of tourists and tourism businesses. Once published we’ll be sharing it with
all those who are interested.

Will local property prices be affected?

It’s not easy to quantify whether renewable energy developments affect
local housing values, particularly at a time when the economy is seeing
widespread reduction in property prices. The reality for many people is that
there are other factors which hold greater importance.
At Good Energy we believe property prices respond to where people want
to live and typically that’s thriving communities where the schools are good
and have ample resources; where there are local services for transport
and health, shops, post offices and pubs; and where there are community
groups serving the youngest to the oldest with organised activities like
toddler groups, active sports clubs and social clubs. We think it’s the
duty of developments like Week St Mary Renewable Energy Farm to give
communities the best chance they can to continue to flourish.

Will the local natural environment be affected?

“Climate change poses the single greatest
long-term threat to birds and other
wildlife, and the RSPB recognises the
essential role of renewable energy in
addressing this problem.”
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Before beginning any renewable development, we work closely with the
landowners and ecological specialists on thorough environmental studies
to assess any potential impact on local wildlife.

As part of the planning process at Week St Mary we’ll record wildlife
activity in and around the site, ensuring any potential impacts are properly
assessed and their effect mitigated. We’ll also look at how we can improve
the site’s natural environment through initiatives like habitat enhancement.

The land used for solar would be left as permanent pasture for at least 25
years. Once construction is complete we plan to re-sow the land with a mix
of self-seeding, nectar-rich wild flowers, which provide food and habitat for
pollinating insects. In turn, these insects help to pollinate commercial
crops such as wheat, rape and maize, which can bring greater yields at
harvest time.

We’re also investigating opportunities to partner with local schools and
wildlife groups and using the ecological expertise available to us during the
development to create outdoor learning opportunities and conservation
plans in the local area. If you’re interested in getting involved in these
projects or have any ideas of your own, we’d love to hear from you.

“Since I started farming in 1962, I have
always followed a low-intensity policy,
believing it to be better for the environment
and the livestock. But with our margins
being constantly squeezed, this was
becoming increasingly harder to do. By
building the wind farm this diversification
not only allowed me to continue my policy
but to plant well over half a million trees on
a farm that was previously totally devoid of
any woodland.”
Peter Edwards, farmer and founder of Delabole Wind Farm

Wind turbines have a minimal footprint, which means livestock and arable
farming can continue on the site with negligible impact on the land’s
productivity. And despite prevalent misconceptions, they’re responsible for
less than 0.01% of human-related bird deaths; by far the largest cause of
deaths include buildings, domestic cats and power lines.

When compared to wind turbines, solar panels take up a considerably
larger land area to produce an equal amount of energy. As with all our solar
developments, we aim to install the solar park on low-grade agricultural
land that is typically used for pasture. We’re proposing to raise the panels
to at least 90cm (just under three feet) so that sheep can graze freely
around them.

Decommissioning bonds will be put in place as part of the plan to
ensure the site will be returned to its original state at the end of the
planning life of the development (about 25 years). The great thing about
these technologies is that at the end of their lifetime they can be either
reused or recycled.

A vision for the future

“By unleashing the collective genius
of those around us to creatively and
proactively design our energy descent,
we can build ways of living that are
more connected, more enriching and
that recognise the biological limits of
our planet.”
Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement

Tackling climate change

At Good Energy, we believe developments like the Week St Mary
Renewable Energy Farm are vital to creating an energy system that’s
secure and stable for generations to come. Tackling man-made climate
change is a huge part of this.

There is now clear evidence and an overwhelming scientific consensus
that human activity has increased the concentration of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere. These are at a higher level than at any time in
the last 800,000 years, causing our climate to change unnaturally.

And with worldwide burning of fossil fuels to heat our homes, grow our
food and power our transport contributing almost three-quarters of all
man-made greenhouse gas emissions, it’s clear that climate change is
an energy problem.

Sadly some of the impacts are already being seen. Since 1998, in the
UK alone, the Met Office has documented the 10 warmest years since
records began. The Environment Agency estimates that by 2080 the
country’s annual economic damage from flooding could increase from
£1 billion to between £15 and £21 billion.

But it’s not too late to change things. The UK has a binding target to
meet by 2020 – to produce 15% of its energy from renewable sources
like Cornish sunshine and wind. Good Energy believes we can not only
meet these targets, but exceed them and that the UK can be powered
purely by renewables by 2050.

Local energy is secure energy
“Would it not be amazing if we
made ourselves completely energy
independent? Not to combat climate
change but as a symbolic thing, to
demonstrate that we are not a dying
culture, but a vigorous culture?”
Tim Smit, The Eden Project, “We need trust to inspire
energy revolution”

The UK imports almost 60% of the fuel it needs to generate its
electricity from places as far flung as Indonesia, Russia and Columbia.
This means we have limited control over our electricity supply and the
price we pay for it: a sudden cold snap in Siberia or unrest in the Middle
East can cause our energy bills at home to rise significantly.

It has not been possible to calculate the country of origin for 3.7% of the fuel used to generate electricity in the
UK due to lack of available fuel tracking data. Data analysis by Good Energy using available UK Government
and EU data for 2010. UK fuel exports excluded. For full details of the method adopted visit

Last year, the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) looked
at the increases in household energy bills from 2004 – 2010 and found
64% (£290) of the £455 increase came from rising wholesale costs. Only
£30 came from measures to support low-carbon generation. They also
reported that household energy bills could be as much as £600 higher per
year in the coming decades if the UK relies increasingly on gas.

According to the CCC, if the country concentrated on renewable energy
generation such as wind power, bills would only be £100 higher, offering
cheaper bills in the long term.

At Good Energy we believe increased energy self-sufficiency for the
UK is the answer; and the way to achieve this is with renewables. 40%
of Europe’s entire wind resource blows across the British Isles; our
coastline enjoys some of the world’s largest tidal ranges; we see enough
sunshine to make solar power a meaningful alternative too.

According to the latest government research*, onshore wind is
supported by 66% of the public, with around 12% opposed. Not only is it
one of the cheapest renewable technologies to develop and run – unlike
fossil fuels, wind is free – onshore wind’s input to the UK grid has been
growing steadily. On the 14th of September it supplied nearly 11% of our
electricity needs, enough to power more than three million homes.

Week St Mary Renewable Energy Farm is making the most of an
abundant energy source that is ours to capture together. With your
support, we believe it could help transform the way the UK generates,
uses and understands energy, for good.

We know that Cornwall’s natural environment is one of its biggest
assets. We also know that the right balance needs to be struck between
safeguarding that asset and meeting Cornwall’s needs in a sustainable
way. We believe Week St Mary Renewable Energy Farm will strike
that balance.
*DECC Public Attitudes Tracking Survey 3.12.12

The majority of fuel used to generate electricity in the UK is imported

Like to know more?
To find out more about Good Energy
and our plans please come to our public
consultation in February 2013 which we
will widely advertise.

For more details on the project please visit
or email

Customer Sales: 0845 456 1640
Customer Care: 0845 601 1410
Monkton Reach, Monkton Hill
Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 1EE