Good Energy plans UK’s first subsidy-free windfarm

British renewable energy company Good Energy has unveiled plans for a new windfarm, claimed to be the UK’s first without a government subsidy.

It follows the government’s decision last year to end subsidies for onshore windfarms in the country starting from April this year, 12 months earlier than previously proposed.

The government also introduced new planning rules to ensure wind turbines would only get approval if they had local community support.

Good Energy’s original proposal for the windfarm was for 11 turbines with a maximum tip height of 125m and total installed capacity ranging between 22MW and 27.5MW.

Cornwall Council refused to grant planning permission for the original proposal in October 2014.

The company came up with a revised design for the project, which still have the same number of turbines with the same maximum tip height. However, the alterations were longer blades and a lower hub height, potentially increasing the windfarm’s total installed capacity to 38.5MW.

Good Energy said that the proposed Big Field windfarm could be solely funded by income from the electricity it generates.

Following feedback from local community groups, the company is working out possibilities to allow local investors to own a majority equity stake in the windfarm.

If approved, the community investment proposals would be written into a legal agreement as part of the planning consent.

Good Energy CEO and founder Juliet Davenport said: “This is a bold and innovative response to the challenges laid down by government to the renewables industry since the election last year.

“This project will give local people the chance to show their support for renewable energy, and all the benefits it brings both locally and globally, by investing in their own windfarm.”