More than 340 homes in and around Thorney will get £200 a year off their electricity bills.
It is part of the community benefit paid by operators of wind turbines and will be available to people living or working within approximately 3km of the turbines at Wryde Croft Wind Farm – currently under construction to the north east of Thorney.
The Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS) has been developed by green electricity generator RES for communities hosting its wind farms.
The scheme is open to all residential, business and community buildings (including schools, places of worship and village halls) within the eligible area that are on mains electricity when the scheme is launched. The annual discount is paid once the wind farm is fully operational.
Alison Jones, Community Relations Manager for RES, said: “The scheme seeks to deliver direct and tangible benefits to people living and working closest to our wind farms in the form of a discount to their electricity bills.
“Feedback from communities near both existing and potential development sites has highlighted that people see cheaper electricity as a practical benefit of hosting a wind farm. We have introduced LEDS successfully at other sites around the UK and I’m delighted that people living and working near Wryde Croft Wind Farm will be among those to benefit from cheaper electricity as the result of hosting a wind farm.”
LEDS at Wryde Croft is being offered in addition to a Community Benefit Fund of at least £52,000 per year for investment in local community projects. Together the two initiatives provide a total package of £130,000 per year in community benefits at Wryde Croft Wind Farm.
RES will write to the 340 or so properties around the site that would be eligible to receive the electricity discount under LEDS, offering people the opportunity to register for the scheme. There is no need for participants to change electricity supplier to benefit and participation is entirely voluntary. The discount is paid directly to the relevant electricity supplier for the duration of the operational life of the wind farm.
“The discount, which is index linked, will be paid for the full operational life of the wind farm, which is 25 years, so that amounts to a direct benefit of at least £5,000 per property,” said Alison. “If someone moves out of an eligible property during that time, then the annual discount will become available to the new electricity bill payer for the property.”
Wryde Croft Wind Farm is scheduled for completion by early 2016 and, once operational, it will be capable of generating enough renewable electricity to meet the needs of more than 15,000 homes.