Work begins at Ulley wind farm

Work has begun to build the controversial windfarm at Ulley.

Around 30 jobs are expected to be created through the construction of the six-turbine wind farm at Penny Hill.

Following the starts of preparatory development work of the £21.9million scheme, new community resources, jobs and commercial opportunities are set to follow.

The work is going ahead despite a protest against the project mounted by the Ulley Wind Farm Action Group

A number of contracts are also being awarded to local firms for the supply of materials and sub-contract works, as well as associated services such as catering and accommodation.

The turbines used in the scheme have the highest capacity of any ever used in a UK onshore wind farm.

The wind farm will produce enough energy to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of over 12,000 homes – or around ten per cent of all the homes in the Rotherham area – and will prevent around 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere every year.

Contractors Banks Renewables say they will deliver a range of extra community and environmental improvements.

Banks has already made a £50,000 investment to help establish a Warm Zone scheme across Rotherham, which includes installing cavity wall and loft insulation to help alleviate fuel poverty and improve domestic energy efficiency.

A benefits fund - worth around £20,000 every year - will be used to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at Banks Renewables, said: “The Penny Hill scheme is already making a positive contribution to the local area through the Warm Zone energy efficiency scheme that we established last year, and with new jobs, commercial opportunities for local firms and regular funding from the wind farm’s benefits fund still to come, this is just the beginning of the long-term, positive impact that our work here will have on the local community.”

“We’re already working closely with local people through a community liaison group to ensure everyone is kept fully up to date with the progress that is being made on site, and look forward to starting to generate safe, clean and sustainable energy at Penny Hill next year.”