More community wind turbines in pipeline

Berwick's wind turbine during the final stages of construction as the blades are added. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Berwick's wind turbine during the final stages of construction as the blades are added. Picture: Kimberley Powell

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Following the launch of Berwick’s community wind turbine, a repackaged social enterprise business hopes to roll out more renewable energy projects across the north east.

Berwick’s community wind turbine is the first of its kind in the north east of England and Berwick upon Tweed Community Development Trust, owned by local people, expects to benefit from a £2.3million windfall over the next 25 years.

The business which designed the turbine has now reorganised and has hopes to develop similar projects in the future.

Community Renewable Energy (CoRE) designed the installation of the turbine working along with Berwick Community Trust.

CoRE is transforming itself into a new social enterprise, Sustainable Community Energy North East (SCENE). In partnership with NESEP (North East Social Enterprise Partnership), SCENE is optimistic about the future.

It has little funding and few staff, but SCENE business has big aspirations and plans to use Berwick’s community turbine as an example of what can be achieved in the future.

The 50m 500kW wind turbine, Enercon, is on the north side of Berwick close to the sea in between the A1 road and the main train line.

“It is very exciting to have set up the first community wind turbine in the north east and one of the very few in the country,” said Keith Richardson, chair of CoRE. “But we are now even more excited with our plans to set up many other types of renewable energy schemes with the potential to generate local benefits whilst, at the same time, tackling the green energy agenda”.

Overall, CoRE says the Berwick turbine will produce electricity for 500 houses and will save 1100 tones per year of carbon dioxide.

Berwick Community Trust chief executive Julien Lake says his organisation has no plans to develop any more community wind turbines.

“To my knowledge, there are no plans being developed by any organisation for more community wind turbines in the Berwick area,” he said.

Although there is a plan being developed by Advance Renewables to put two units up at Marshall Meadows near the Scottish border, the project is essentially a private enterprise and the units will not be owned by the community.

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