New turbine farm is in the wind

SEVEN turbines are set to be built on a new £18.5 million wind farm at Coldham.

Called White Mill the new 14 MW wind farm will be built by the Co-Operative Group on land it owns adjacent to its existing eight turbines.

White Mill wind farm is a unique project due to the strength and expertise in bringing together The Co-operative Group’s development with The Co-operative Bank as its lender. It also heralds the start of a brand new joint venture with The Ventus Funds, managed by Climate Change Capital Ltd.

The new turbines will also generate continued support for the local community, with The Co-operative establishing a Community Trust, and extending the existing environmental education programme for schools based at the wind farm.

All the energy generated from White Mill will be directly procured by the Group, securing a long term green energy source for the business.

Thanks to developments such as this, The Co-operative is well on the way to achieving a key element of its ethical plan to generate 25 per cent of its electricity needs from its own renewable energy projects by 2017.

The seven new turbines at White Mill will offset 26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and, combined with the existing wind farm, will generate in excess of 70 GW hrs electricity per year – enough to supply approximately 16,500 homes.

Groundwork has now commenced at White Mill and installation of turbines at the site will begin in spring 2012.

Rob Ellis, Sustainable Development Manager at The Co-operative Group, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this point where we can now begin work at White Mill. By bringing together expertise from across our Co-operative businesses, along with the creation of a new joint venture with The Ventus Funds, we are delighted to be further increasing the amount of renewable energy we are generating from our very own wind farm and contributing to the target set out in our ethical plan.

“The development of green energy projects is a major part of our social and community agenda as a Co-operative business. Most importantly, we recognise the importance of involving local people at the outset of the project and giving them direct input into all aspects of wind farm schemes.”

James Sutcliffe, of the Renewable Energy Finance team at The Co-operative Bank, said: “This is a clear example of the Group’s family of businesses working together to take positive action on areas important to our members whilst delivering benefits for the local community at the same time.

“We firmly believe that for the UK to move to a low carbon economy it will require a diverse mix of energy sources. Projects such as this can make a significant contribution.”

e Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation.

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