Britain moved a step closer to seeing its first community owned wind cluster when a five turbine project in Cumbria was granted planning permission. The Wind Company, a UK subsidiary of Swedish company Vindkompaniet, already has a NFFO-3 contract which guarantees a premium price for output from the site at Harlock Hill for ten years. South Lakeland District Council passed the project after the company agreed to reduce the number of turbines from seven to five. Planning officers had recommended acceptance, stating that Harlock Hill offered the least obtrusive location. The company plans to install Danish 500 kW WindWorld machines. Keith Boxer from The Wind Company says: "This will allow the Cumbrian community to benefit from their own wind resource. This is the beginning of community owned wind power in the UK." According to the company's Simon Boxer, the project will closely follow the co-operative model adopted by Vindkompaniet in Sweden. It hopes to allow Cumbrian residents to purchase shares equivalent to their electricity consumption. As well as providing returns for its shareholders, The Wind Company expects profits from the wind farm to fund local energy conservation schemes.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol