AMEC submits wind farm application

A planning application for a 60MW wind farm on the Ray Estate, Northumberland has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry by AMEC’s wind energy business.

A planning application for the Ray wind farm has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry by AMEC’s wind energy business.

The submission signals the beginning of the formal consultation process and follows a series of public exhibitions held in September.

The proposed wind farm will consist of a maximum of 20 wind turbines on Ray Estate, near Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland. With an anticipated installed capacity of 60MW the wind farm could provide an amount of green electricity equivalent to that required to satisfy the domestic needs of around 33,500 households. This equates to approximately 25% of Northumberland’s population.

AMEC’s wind energy business, based in Hexham, started to investigate the Ray Estate site in the early 1990’s. AMEC says the site has been designed to minimise impact on the local landscape, complies with regional and local planning policy guidance for renewable energy development and is sited outside of any nationally designated areas.

Commenting on concerns that the area could be covered in wind turbines due to the number of potential projects in the region, AMEC’s David Hodkinson said: “The planning process considers the effects of individual wind farm applications on a stand alone basis and in combination with other proposed developments.

“We feel from our experience, in other parts of the UK, that it is very unlikely that all of the current wind farm plans in this area of Northumberland will secure planning consent. Through the detailed environmental work we have carried out, we are confident that our proposal is appropriate for the environment in which it is sited.

“A full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was submitted along with the planning application. The EIA outlines how the final wind farm layout was designed incorporating the results of detailed environmental studies. The full planning submission will be presented at public exhibitions early in the New Year.”