Low Carbon Hook Norton – Options for Wind Turbines ?
HNLC has completed a 2-year period of gathering wind speed and direction data between March 2011 and April 2013 to the North East of Hook Norton. We do not have any specific plans for a size or site for a community turbine, nor has any decision been made about whether HNLC would put one up at all. Importantly, the data is not site specific and so the location where we collected the wind speed data does not pre-determine the location of a future site on the hills around HN if the community wishes to develop a wind turbine.
We have noted that after the installation of the met mast, residents in the immediate vicinity of the mast have expressed their opposition to a turbine being sited there. Any proposal for a community wind turbine would take time to put together and we understand the uncertainty this has created for those residents. Hence we confirm that the field on Council Hill where the wind speed data was collected is not anticipated to be a site HNLC will consider for a future consultation with the community.
From the studies that Cherwell (click here for the report) and West Oxford District Council (click here for the report) have carried out we already knew that they are suggesting that wind turbine may be viable in this area:
“One interesting aspect of the sites identified above is that some of them may lend themselves to community wind projects, in that they would only support single turbines or small clusters and are located relatively close to small towns and villages.” “It would seem appropriate for the Core Strategy to encourage community wind turbine development given the nature and distribution of the development opportunities identified in this study.”
The over-riding sentiment from the members of LCHN in meetings held in 2010 was “if there is likely to be a wind turbine let’s make it a community one” and there is a spread of views from not wanting to have a turbine in the surrounding countryside, to enthusiastic supporters saying wind turbines are beautiful.
The 2 years of data from the met mast is in line with what was predicted in these studies with a mean wind speed of 6.1m/s at 40m height from the South West:
We anticipate that there may be interest from potential developers and local landowners in putting up a wind turbine in this area (but not large commercial wind farms which were ruled out by the Cherwell and West Oxfordshire studies). The fact that the community will have measured wind speed data in its control will also give us an early chance to influence any commercial developers and/or landowners looking at putting up wind turbines in the areas around Hook Norton to maximise the benefit for the community as a whole.
We openly welcome people’s thoughts as we are clear that as HNLC a community wind turbine is something we would only want to progress as a supported community project where the majority of people view this as a benefit for the community, otherwise we will focus on other projects. We look forward to hearing your thoughts, to let us know your views contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Westmill Wind Farm is an example of a community run wind project. They have slightly less wind speed than we measured in our locality. More details here.