A West Yorkshire energy co-operative is proposing a scheme which would generate enough electricity to power its local village and more.
Subject to planning consent, Valley Wind proposes installing three wind turbines on Slaithwaite Moor. They would produce around 18 million kWh of electricity per year; enough to power 4,800 homes or the neighbouring villages of Marsden and Slaithwaite.
Valley Wind registered as a co-operative in 2009 and has since secured a legal option to lease the site. It is now in discussion with planning authority Kirklees Council and other consultees as it prepares its main planning application.
The intention is to launch a community share offer with a minimum investment of £250 and an annual dividend for members. A percentage of the revenue would go into a fund which would support community and educational projects over the 20 to 25-year life of the wind farm.
The scheme is based on the successful Baywind Energy Co-operative, which runs six turbines in Cumbria. Valley Wind has received support form Energy4All, a co-op owned by the energy co-ops it serves, which was set up by Baywind in 2002.
It has also received funding from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, the Naturesave Trust, CO2Sense, Key Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.
Diane Green, one of nine directors on Valley Wind's board, said: “We wanted to do something big to help reduce C02 emissions, help the local community and preserve the local and global environment.
“The scheme will generate renewable electricity and devolve power from the big six energy companies. It will be run co-operatively, allowing local people to invest and share in profits generated.
"Direct involvement increases awareness of environmental issues at the grassroots level and provides an opportunity to do something positive about climate change.”