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25 FEBRUARY 2014:

Renewable energy company RES is about to begin work on site to construct Woolley Hill Wind Farm, a four turbine project situated north of the A14 between the villages of Woolley and Ellington in Huntingdonshire.

Construction will begin in mid-March and take approximately 12 months to complete, with turbine deliveries and erection taking place in October 2014. Once operational, the wind farm will be capable of generating sufficient renewable electricity to meet the average annual requirements of around 8,000 homes.

Chris Carey, Construction Project Manager, says: “We will be using our considerable experience in onshore wind projects to ensure that Woolley Hill Wind Farm is built to the highest possible standards and with minimum disruption to local people. Since the project was consented in March 2012, RES has worked closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that our traffic management and construction management procedures are acceptable and will protect the safety of local people and our workforce. We are also keen to ensure that local communities derive maximum benefit from the wind farm, including the employment of suitable local companies and individuals during the construction phase.”

Among the opportunities presented by Woolley Hill Wind Farm are supply of construction materials such as concrete, aggregates and building materials; civil engineering, electrical and building contract work; plant hire; and plant operatives and labourers.

Chris Carey explains: "Expenditure in the local economy during the development, construction and operation of wind farms in the UK varies from project to project, but from analysis of RES projects in recent years we would typically expect a four turbine scheme like Woolley Hill to inject more than £1 million into Huntingdonshire’s economy during development, construction and the first year of project operation. In some cases it has been possible to significantly increase this number – and of course expenditure in the local community continues throughout the operational phase of the project."

Woolley Hill Wind Farm will also provide a community benefits package totalling £50,000 per year once it is fully operational. This includes a Community Benefit Fund to support local social, educational and environmental projects and RES’ innovative Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS), which will provide an annual discount of £100 per year off the electricity bills of nearest neighbours. RES has already contacted the properties eligible for LEDS at Woolley Hill and almost 50 per cent of properties have already registered their interest in the scheme.