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Woolley Hill Wind Farm near Ellington, Huntingdonshire, is preparing to take delivery of its wind turbines from 6 October.  Once completed, the four turbines at Woolley Hill will be capable of generating sufficient renewable electricity annually to power more than 8,000 homes*, as well as bringing investment of £50,000 in the local community every year. 

Noel Breslin, Site Manager for wind farm developer RES, explains: “The delivery of the turbines is a real highlight in the construction calendar for Woolley Hill Wind Farm.  We hope people around the site will be excited too when they see the turbines arrive.  It’s been a successful partnership between RES, our turbine manufacturer and several local companies to reach this point in the wind farm’s development and we’d like to thank everyone involved.”

The four Nordex turbines will be transported from Immingham Dock in sections (blades, four tower sections, hubs and nacelles) using specially designed heavy goods vehicles.  Escorted convoys will transport the larger components.  The convoys will travel down the A1 and then on to the A14, arriving at Woolley Hill Wind Farm (just off junction 20 of the A14) later the same day.  The turbine deliveries have been scheduled to avoid rush hour traffic and will take place two or three times per week, including an occasional delivery on Saturday.

Noel Breslin says: “We have worked closely with Huntingdonshire District Council, the highways authorities and the police to agree a turbine delivery route and timetable that will minimise any disruption to road users. One of the reasons Woolley Hill is such a great site for a wind farm is its proximity to the main road network, which means we do not have to bring construction traffic through local towns or villages.”

Work began on site at Woolley Hill in March, since when significant progress has been made.  Approximately 3.5 kilometres of tracks have been created from the site entrance to link the site offices, construction compound, turbine locations and control building.  All four of the foundations which will support the 130m high turbines are also complete.

Once all the components are on site, assembling each turbine can take as little as one day to complete.  There will then follow a period of testing and commissioning before the wind farm is declared fully operational, triggering an annual community benefits package of £50,000.

These benefits include RES’ unique Local Electricity Discount Scheme, which was launched at Woolley Hill Wind Farm in October 2013 and offers almost 300 eligible properties within 2km of the turbines an annual discount of £100 off their electricity bills.

Alison Jones, RES Community Relations Manager, says: “LEDS is a very popular way in which communities around our new projects are becoming involved in, and receiving a stake in, RES wind farms.  More than half the properties eligible to receive the discount at Woolley Hill have already registered their interest in participating in the scheme.  We will be contacting people again soon in order to obtain the necessary information to make the first payments, so if there are others who still want to register, there is time to do so.”

In addition to LEDS, RES is providing a £20,000 per year Community Fund to support local social, educational and environmental projects near the wind farm.  The Fund will be publicised once it is ready to receive applications and a Fund Panel of local representatives will decide where the money is spent.

* The homes equivalent has been calculated by taking the predicted annual electricity generation of the site (based on RES studies Woolley Hill Wind Farm has a predicted capacity factor of 39.1%) and dividing this by the annual average household electricity consumption figures from the  Department of Energy and Climate Change 2012 (4229kWh).