EDF Energy Renewables, the company that recently bought the Barmoor wind farm project, has committed to donating a portion of income generated from the wind farm to local communities through a community benefit fund.

Once the fund is established, the wind farm will pay in £5,000 per megawatt every year over the anticipated 20 year lifetime of the project. This will provide a dedicated fund of £60,000 each year to support local initiatives, activities and events.

Although EDF Energy Renewables apply some general principles to the structure of the community funds associated with the wind farms it operates, the company intends to consult with local parish councils and other groups about how to best administer the fund for Barmoor*.

The project site which is located between Ford and Lowick,14km south-west of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, was developed by Force 9 Duke Energy and Statkraft UK Limited. EDF Energy Renewables announced the deal to buy the project last month.

The Barmoor project received planning consent in January 2010 and EDF Energy Renewables is working to finalise the plans for the construction of the wind farm.

The 12 megawatt scheme will incorporate six turbines with a height, from ground to the tips of the blades, of 110 metres and will produce enough low carbon electricity to supply the average annual electricity needs of up to 6,400 homes**.
EDF Energy Renewables’ Director of Onshore and M&A Matthieu Hue said:

“We take a long-term approach to the wind farms we develop - we see ourselves as part of the communities in which we operate, not just today but also for the future.

“Our aim is to work with and support local communities, and funds such as the one we’re setting up for Barmoor can make a real difference to those living and working near our sites.

“We’re looking forward to discussing with local people how best to administer this fund. After all they’re the ones who will know best where the need is locally and how the fund might be put to best use.”

In addition to 500 megawatts of onshore and offshore projects already in service, EDF Energy Renewables has over 1000 megawatts of onshore renewables projects in development together with a 970 megawatt offshore wind farm project currently under development, Navitus Bay, a 50-50 Joint Venture between Eneco Wind UK Ltd and EDF Energy.

*Community funds set up by EDF Energy Renewables are normally administered by a charitable foundation that acts as an intermediary for EDF Energy Renewables in support of a committee made up of local representatives who consider applications for funding. Benefits are also normally prioritised in favour of communities within a defined radius – the size of that radius normally being dependant upon population density.
**Please note these figures are based on onshore turbines operating at 26.06% capacity (2008-2012 average load factor for onshore wind from Digest of UK Energy Statistics) and assuming 4,222 is the average UK household electricity consumption in kW hours (based on DECCs publication URN:13D/310 December 2013).