Life extension approved at Haverigg II

  • Posted: 27 Oct 2020

Copeland Borough Council has approved an application from Thrive Renewables to extend the working life of our four turbine wind farm at Haverigg in Cumbria. The existing turbines now have planning permission to continue operating until 2032.

Haverigg II comprises four turbines with the capacity to generate enough electricity to power 1,500 average UK homes1. It was the first wind farm we developed over 20 years ago and has been generating clean electricity almost without interruption since then. Until recently, one of the turbines was owned by Baywind Energy Co-operative to provide an opportunity for local ownership.

We worked in close collaboration with Windcluster, owners of the immediately adjacent Haverigg III wind farm who also applied for a similar planning extension. Submitting the two applications simultaneously allowed proper consideration of any long term or cumulative impacts of wind energy generation in the area.  The planning consents for both projects were passed unanimously.

Arcus Consultancy Services Ltd, a leading environmental, planning and engineering consultancy, supported both wind farms to engage with Natural England and Copeland Borough Council.  Potential environmental impacts were identified at an early stage and we proposed suitable mitigation in the form of habitat enhancements for breeding gull colonies at the South Walney Nature Reserve.

We approached the host communities in the villages of Haverigg, Kirksanton and Millom to discuss the continued operation of the site back in October 2019. A full consultation was undertaken, including a drop-in session to discuss any local issues. Results from the consultation were fed into the final application to the council. 

“We are very grateful for the support of the council and local community during the consultation and planning process.  The existing turbines have been maintained and serviced very carefully and are in excellent working order. We look forward to continuing to generate clean energy here for the next 12 years.” Matthew Clayton, Managing Director Thrive Renewables

Unlike almost any other type of infrastructure, solar and wind farms are frequently granted time limited planning permission – usually 25 years. So we need to apply to continue to operate them at the end of their consented planning life. As our older wind farms reach this stage, we will routinely apply to secure their longer term operational future. We hope that in the future, planning permission for this vital green infrastructure which provides employment, generates income and powers our country in a sustainable way will be granted in perpetuity. According to Arcus, these planning consents in Cumbria pave the way for further variation of conditions applications to enable existing wind turbines to be retained for a longer period than originally consented.

 

[1] Calculated using the most recent statistics from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing that annual UK average domestic household consumption is 3,618kWh, https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDExplained