Plans for residents to cash in on a community wind farm have been have been branded a publicity stunt.
Coronation Power, which is planning to create five 125-metre high turbines on Todmorden Moor capable of generating enough electricity for 10,000 homes, wants to sell shares in one of the turbines to locals.
At a public meeting at Todmorden Town Hall Barnaby Fryer, project manager of Microgeneration Yorkshire and Charley Rattan, community relations manager for Coronation Power, described the benefits of buying into the wind farm scheme, proposed for Flower Scarr Moor.
The community will be offered a 20 per cent share of the turbine and will have to form a co-operative group in order to buy into it.
But Chris Edwards from Walsden said the cost of the £10 million scheme had been underestimated and the plan to allow the public to buy into one of the turbines was a stunt.
Mr Edwards said: “Coronation Power just wants our money. That is why they are giving us a share, they just want the support of the community.”
Last month a Government planning inspector refused the firm permission to build a 60-metre wind gauge because of the effect it might have on Rossendale Valley Model Flying Club which has used the moor since the end of World War II.
But now Coronation Power hopes a project to allow the community to profit from the wind farm will change people’s minds.
Mr Fryer said co-ownership of wind farms was established practice in countries
such as Denmark and Sweden where the social and economic benefits were evident.
In Denmark over 60 per cent of all wind turbines are community owned.
Co-ownership is not a common feature in the UK and Todmorden would be joining only a handful of communities who have been offered this opportunity.
One concerned farmer who lives near the proposed site in Todmorden said: “Coronation Power is a limited liability company and they can pull out at any time and leave us high and dry.”
After the meeting residents said they were still in the dark about the nature of the wind farm and felt more public consultation was required.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding