E.On UK said it intends to submit an application for planning permission to put the grid connection to the proposed Denshaw Moor Wind Farm underground.
The move has been taken to ensure that the visual impact of the proposed wind farm is minimised, although the decision will cost E.On more money as it is more expensive to underground wires, the company said.
Matt Pinfield, Project Developer for E.On UK, said, “We always try to be a good neighbour wherever possible and we’re very aware of people’s concerns about how the wind farm will look.
“We’ve already reduced the number of turbines in the scheme from seven to six and lowered the height of one of the turbines by four metres,” Pinfield said, adding “”I personally think that wind turbines are incredibly elegant structures and by undergrounding the cables, together with the changes we’ve made to the design, I’m confident we’ve produced a scheme that will not only have a minimal impact but will also produce clean, green renewable power.”
E.On submitted a scoping report for the grid connection to Oldham Municipal Borough Council this month. Once the scoping opinion has been received, the company will prepare an application for planning permission for the grid connection and carry out a full environmental impact assessment.
The company, which is appealing the Council’s decision to refuse consent for the proposed wind farm, has also asked the Planning Inspectorate to delay the start of the public inquiry to Autumn 2007.
“If the Council do reject planning permission for the grid connection then it will also have to go to public inquiry,” said Pinfield. “We believe that it makes more sense, in the interest of saving public time and money, to postpone the inquiry and have both applications determined at the same time.”
If approved, the wind farm would see around £2m being invested into the local and regional economies. It would also make a significant contribution to helping fulfil UK Government targets of generating 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The local community would also benefit from a Community Fund to be spent on local projects, worth approximately £500,000 over the life of the scheme.
The proposed wind farm could provide enough clean, green electricity to power the equivalent of up around 7000 homes and save over 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.