We are proposing to build three wind turbines, on former industrial land to the south of Hartlepool. Together it is expected that the three turbines will produce up to 52 million kWh (units) of electricity each year, sufficient to provide green power to over 13,680 houses1
1figures based on DECC Energy Trends Report March 2014
The scheme originated as a result of Hartlepool Borough Council inviting interested parties to submit tenders to construct and operate a wind turbine on council owned land at Brenda Road. Following our successful selection as the developer of the Brenda Road turbine, we conducted a comprehensive feasibility study for the wider area, including commissioning a wide range of technical and environmental studies for the project. Based on these studies, and following the consultation process, we believe that the location would be suitable for three turbines of identical size.
In the first half of 2014, we introduced the scheme to local residents through a process of pre-application consultation. After our initial pre application consultation, and based on our findings, in June 2014 we submitted a formal planning application to Hartlepool Borough Council. Following submission of our planning application, the Council itself conducted a public consultation exercise, which indicated a broad majority of support for the scheme from a significant number of respondents.
The detail of the scheme is currently being considered by the Council's planning team, prior to being submitted to the Council's planning committee for a formal decision.
We look to develop projects incorporating proven technology ensuring that they can continue to operate during their projected lifespan.
Our mandate is to develop a range of schemes across the UK, including wind, solar and energy from waste technologies that are capable of operating in an efficient and effective manner throughout their entire operational life.
Whilst we are aware that there are a number of very interesting renewable energy technologies available, many of these are still experimental in nature. This makes them difficult, if not impossible to finance.
We hope that during the lifetime of our current projects, more of these technologies become bankable, allowing us to expand our scope of developments into new areas.
Any location selected for a renewable energy project has to undergo extensive study prior to any development works entering the planning phase.
During our site selection process, we had to be certain that the construction of turbines at the site would have minimal impact on the environment, whilst providing an optimum use of the available wind.
It is not sufficient that the site simply benefits from higher wind speeds typically found at the coast, we need to be certain that the development can take place to the satisfaction of the local planning authority. Indirectly, this means that we have to ensure that environmental, physical and cultural factors are considered and addressed appropriately.
As the site has a history of being used for industrial purposes we considered that the presence of wind turbines would complement existing structures.
The industrial nature of the site also means that we are able to offer the potential for neighbouring industrial businesses to acquire low carbon electricity at a lower cost than that available in the market generally.
As the cost of energy is often a significant proportion of a manufacturing businesses cost base, the opportunity to source low cost power can assist in safeguarding employment in the region.
As the Council has always been a supporter of low carbon generation within the borough, in conjunction with the findings of our site selection process, we considered the site to be suitable for development.
The renewable project development process requires analysis of a significant volume information and data relating to the physical, environmental and technical aspects of the proposed location.
Prior to submission of a formal planning application we work with a number of agencies to develop the scope of the application, including Natural England, English Heritage, Northern Powergrid and Hartlepool Borough Council.
Information we learned from our technical and environmental assessment of the scheme now forms part of our planning application. The areas we considered include:-
Our application is not specific to a particular turbine, but is for a maximum tip height of 206.5 metres.
Whilst it is usual for applications to refer to a number of potential turbines that may be installed within a particular height range, the planning consent will normally be issued in respect of a maximum height.
We are considering a range of turbine units for use at the site, manufactured by several different suppliers. The exact turbine type will only be chosen once we know the maximum height allowance available, and in conjunction with a number of expert technical advisors.
Finally, construction and operation of the turbines will only be permitted subject to the ongoing compliance with a range of environmental and health and safety requirements.
The amount of power generated from wind turbines is affected by a combination of factors.
Typically wind speeds increase at higher altitude, therefore if the hub height of the turbine is increased, so does the wind speed.
Other factors affect the total amount of power generated by a wind turbine. Power output will increase with the diameter of the rotor, thereby increasing the amount of wind that can be captured.
Although very small turbines can offer developers a more profitable return on their investment (due to the lower cost of turbines) - to achieve the same level of renewable power output as we expect, we would need nine turbines.
Based on the turbines used in the nearby scheme at Redcar, you would need to replace the three turbines proposed by us with nine of the turbines used offshore.
We believe that by using taller turbines, we are able to provide an optimum balance between the volumes of renewable power generated and the impact of the scheme on the local environment.
Subject to receiving the necessary planning consent, it is hoped that the turbines will be erected during the latter half of 2016, to begin supplying renewable energy by the start of 2017.
If we are successful in achieving planning consent for the project, we will continue to work closely with the Council, our funders and local stakeholders to ensure that the project can be financed and constructed in a sensitive manner.
Seneca Global Energy will develop the scheme; a Hartlepool based developer of renewable energy projects in the UK.
We will be working with a number of highly experienced partners to develop the scheme including:-
Whilst Seneca Global Energy is the developer of the scheme, as is usual with projects of this nature, the turbines will be owned and operated by a special purpose company, Hartlepool Wind Limited.
Funding for the project will be secured from a number of sources, including bank finance.
Wind turbines are temporary structures and are typically expected to have a 25-year operational lifetime.
Agreements reached with landowners will usually require the developer to decommission and dismantle the turbines within 12 months of the end of their life.
This contrasts with other forms of power generation, such as
The scheme will provide a number of direct and indirect financial benefits to the local community.
As part of the development we will establish a Community Benefit Fund into which a part of the overall revenue will be paid and which will be used to support a range of local initiatives.
Based on our proposals, over the lifetime of the project, the amount paid into the Community Benefit Fund will be approximately £4,500,000.
In addition to the community benefit payments, the Council will receive rental payments in respect of the Brenda Road site, and business rates in respect of the occupation of the sites by the project.
Indirectly, were neighbouring industrial sites to take up the offer of a private power supply from the scheme, the lower power costs may help to retain employment in the local community.
Finally, during the construction phase of the project, there will be opportunities for local businesses to submit tenders for elements of the works.