New wind turbines at Eye Airfield could be generating electricity by the end of the month, a spokesperson from the project’s management company has confirmed.
Two new turbines that will stand 130 metres high at the blade tips, will bring the total at the site up to four, and are close to being completed.
Positioned on farmland belonging to JW Baldwin Farms next to the southern boundary of the airfield’s industrial complex and Castleton Way, the plans were granted planning permission by Mid Suffolk District Council in February 2012.
They will join the two turbines already at the site, which were completed in February 2012. A spokesperson for Temporis Capital, who manage Ventus and Ventus 2 which are funding the project, said the turbines could be generating power by the start of February, if not before.
They said some internal work in the structures and connection to the grid would still be required, and could not give an exact date, but did concede that any high winds could delay the blades being fitted to the structure.
The turbines will generate 6.8 megawatts of power at maximum output, powering more than 6,000 homes, but communities affected could benefit financially from the turbines.
Mid Suffolk District Council could receive up to £6,800 annually from Temporis - a potential £1,000 for each megawatt that could be produced from the two turbines.
A Temporis spokesperson said the council will receive their first payment within 28 days of electricity being produced at the site.
A spokesperson from the council confirmed they had received around £10,000 so far from the Roy Humphrey Group for the two turbines already in operation. Money from the wind developments is placed into a communities pot.
The money can be used to make improvements to community buildings and create environment education projects in areas affected by the turbines. Councils and community groups can apply for funds, but confirmed money had not been allocated and formal applications were yet to be processed.
Andrew Evitt, chairman of the planning committee at Eye Town Council, said: “Speaking as an individual, the more one reads about them and sees them going up across the countryside, the more I am irritated.
“You can see the little town nestled in the valley, but looming behind them will be these huge turbines. I really do feel what they are there for is not so much for energy production, but for developers and land owners. They are the people who all really benefit. I don’t think it will do any good for Eye at all.”
When asked if he thought more wind turbines could appear in Eye in the future, Mr Evitt responded: “I think it is unlikely but I would not put it past developers. Mid Suffolk District Council seem to be relaxed about giving planning permission for these things.
“I know that Mid Suffolk District Council are under huge pressure to accept wind turbines in this mad dash for green energy.”
Mr Evitt added there were a number of projects in the town which could benefit from the potential windfall from the turbines, but he said neighbouring villages and parishes could also apply.