EDF Energy Renewables has officially opened its Barmoor wind farm in North Northumberland.

The six turbine site, located south west of Berwick between the villages of Ford and Lowick, is capable of delivering over 12 megawatts (MW) of low carbon electricity, enough to meet the average annual needs of approximately 6,500 homes*.

The formal opening of the development was marked by the first awards to local organisations from the newly established Barmoor Wind Farm Community Fund.

In the first round of applications over £30,000 was awarded in support of seven projects from local groups, including the provision of a mini bus for a local football team, the refurbishment of boxing club facilities for young people, equipment for a local archery club and rooftop solar panels for local village halls.

The community benefit fund will make £60,000 available each year over the lifetime of the wind farm to support local community projects, events and organisations. Applications are considered by a local steering group that includes representatives of local parish councils.

Christian Egal, CEO of EDF Energy Renewables said: “We are delighted to have brought the Barmoor wind farm on stream and the project is already making an important contribution to the generation of low carbon electricity.

“It is particularly pleasing that the first groups to receive support from the benefit fund have been able to join us to mark the opening of this project and I am sure that many local community initiatives will benefit from the fund in the future.  

“Our relationship with the local community is something we hold dearly and I am therefore also very happy that so many local firms were able to participate in the construction and ultimately the success of the project.”

A number of local suppliers were awarded contracts totalling around £2.4 million as part of the construction of the wind farm, including the supply of concrete and aggregate, drainage works and plant hire services.

Nick Bradford, Head of Asset Management, EDF Energy Renewables said: “Barmoor is another important building block in EDF Energy Renewables’ contribution to the UK’s low carbon economy which we are expanding all the time. 

“We hope through safely and efficiently operating the wind farm here, to become an enduring part of the local community.”

*Based on average annual household electricity consumption and onshore turbines operating at 26.24% capacity (2009 – 2013 average load factor for onshore wind farms from Digest of UK Energy Statistics).