Local energy generation expected to add over £2m to Ladock parish over next 20 years

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By mpad_mark | Thursday, January 17, 2013, 11:54

The organisations behind the planned installation of a new community wind turbine in mid Cornwall hope it can inspire other communities to take control of their energy supply.

Cornwall-based community energy company Green Trust CIC has been working with Low Carbon Ladock to build an exemplar low carbon parish.

Plans have recently been submitted for the proposed installation of a 77m high turbine in Ladock that will generate around a third of electricity used each year by homes and businesses in the parish.

It will be run as a community enterprise and will help reduce local energy bills by generating income to reinvest in household scale renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, as well as create local energy supply arrangements that help protect against future price rises.

Green Trusts CIC director, Jake Burnyeat, said: "It has been a huge amount of work to identify a suitable site and carry out all the environmental studies needed for the planning application.

"The proposal is now in the hands of the planners and if successful the Ladock community turbine will demonstrate a model that can be adapted by other communities in Cornwall and elsewhere.

"Through our sister company, Communities for Renewables CIC, we are working with a number of local energy co-operatives across the South West that have similar objectives to Low Carbon Ladock."

Since Low Carbon Ladock was set up in 2010 the co-operative has worked to address the challenges of rising energy costs and climate change.

It has already invested £500,000 of grant funding for energy efficiency measures and small-scale renewable energy generation, which have helped to reduce energy bills, as well as generate funding for local community projects.

The turbine will increase the co-operative's current annual surplus from around £15,000 per year to over £45,000.

Jake said: "Low Carbon Ladock's plan is to invest 80% of this surplus into roof-top solar panels, wood boilers and other small-scale renewable energy technologies that will reduce bills for local homes and businesses while generating further income for the co-operative.

"The other 20% will then be given in grants to community projects and organisations in the parish."

Over the next 20 years Low Carbon Ladock's plans could generate over £2m to re-invest in building scale renewable energy technologies, and around £500,000 for the Ladock community fund.    

Low Carbon Ladock has 127 members and costs £2 to join. Only members living or working within the parish can vote on community decisions.

Jake added: "Wind turbine and solar installations are happening in Cornwall and more will come as we make the shift from generating energy with fossil fuels in big centralised power stations, to generating energy from renewable resources close to where it is consumed.

"We are not used to seeing where our energy comes from and it is changing the landscape, but over time, people will come to see wind turbines and solar parks as normal as pylons, sheds and silos.

"What we want to do, through Low Carbon Ladock, is show how proactive communities can harness their local renewable energy resources to reduce energy bills and generate income for the community."

For more information please visit www.transition-lgr.org

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