Earlier this week I visited an exhibition presented by West Coast Energy in the village of Tolpuddle, famous for its worker’s 19th century revolt and where another revolution is being planned…

…This time the revolution is creating renewable energy from a Wind Farm.

This is an exciting opportunity for Dorset and its people to really get involved in renewables and begin to take its fair share of the UK’s national energy targets.

West Coast are not a huge conglomerate but have a lot of experience in local wind farm start-ups and have so far created 800 megawatts of renewable energy with projects in Scotland, Wales and the Midlands. Some of their team were at the Tolpuddle Village Hall to answer questions and take on board any suggestions or ideas from the local community. I really liked their approach and their emphasis on working with the local community, discussing problems at first hand and generally listening to genuine concerns.

What also struck me was their emphasis on Community – something that I believe is so important with renewable energy projects. They aim to give 10% of total revenues to the local community to fund whatever they decide is wanted. Over the 25 year life of the project will amount to circa £7 million pounds. Local people, groups and Councils will be consulted and the project funds will be controlled locally. This is hugely important and something that everyone in or near the location should become an integral part of.

Creating clean, sustainable energy with a win for well planned local projects to enhance the area is in itself an amazing opportunity.

The plan itself is to position 10 wind turbines of various sizes in fields North of Tolpuddle. The topography is excellent and runs almost parallel with the A35 trunk road from Poole to Dorchester. I never realised just how busy the road is and the car noise will more than drown out any noise created by the turbines. The lack of buildings within the vicinity make it excellent siting and we know for sure that in 25 years time after reaping the wind’s harvest, the fields will be in much the same condition as they are today. No doubt in due course the farmers will expand on what they intend to continue to do agriculturally near the turbines.

Of course from other areas across Dorset you will be able to see the turbines and my hope is that over time they will become iconic symbols of a new way to fuel the development of future generations.

The site itself comes under the control of West Dorset and a special Parish Meeting is planned for the people of Milborne St Andrew in the Autumn where they will present the project and answer questions etc.

Communication is vital, as is respect for the concerns of everyone. Crucial to this is having the right information so can I suggest that anyone who wants to know more about wind turbines or any related renewable subject looks on the relevant pages here on the Dorset Energized website where they will find real advice and information including the pros and cons, plus ways to get involved personally with other forms of renewable energy – visit www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy.

More details on the Milborne Wind Farm Proposal (which has already caused some debate here on our blog) can be found at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/08/08/milborne-wind-farm-in-west-dorset.

See our specific page on Wind Power at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power.
For related blog posts go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/category/wind-power.