A WIND farm will stay in its position for another 15 years after Barnsley Council’s planning bosses granted an extension.
Energy firm Banks Renewables was originally given permission to run Hazlehead Wind Farm, which sits near Crow Edge, for 25 years before it was erected in 2011.
Having carried out regular maintenance work at the site and reviewed its operational performance, Banks last year applied for permission to extend the lifespan of the three-turbine scheme by 15 years, to 40 years’ duration.
No other aspects of the wind farm’s operation will change as part of the planning approval, the firm confirmed, with no new turbines planned and all existing planning conditions under which it operates remaining unaltered.
Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at Banks, said: “The wind farm has been successfully generating significant amounts of clean, green electricity for well over a decade.
“Our aim is to maximise the environmental, energy security and social benefits that all our onshore wind farms can deliver, and we are very pleased that that we will now be able to increase the contribution that Hazlehead can make towards helping the UK achieve its net zero targets.
“Many local communities have already benefited from revenues generated by the wind farm - extending its lifespan means that even more capital will be available over a longer period to support projects across the surrounding area.”
It generated almost 15,000MWh of green electricity during Banks’ last financial year, which is enough to meet the annual electrical requirements of over 5,000 homes.
It also generates over £8,000 every year for the Hazlehead Wind Farm Benefits Fund, which supports community and environmental projects put forward by local voluntary groups and charities and which will be extended for a further 15 years as part of the planning application approval.
Previous local grant recipients have included Dunford Parish Community Association, St Anne’s Church in Carlecotes and Penistone Community Radio.
Coun Hannah Kitching, who represents the Penistone West ward, praised the decision and lauded Banks’ contribution to the local area.
“They’re an established part of the community now and have benefited the area so much over a decade or so,” she told the Chronicle.
“Their grants scheme has been brilliant for so many groups and they’ve always been very good communicators with both the community and elected members.
“I am fully supportive of the extension to 40 years.”