Blackshaw Head community turbine starts bringing in the money
Monday, 18 November 2013
Pennine Community Power (PCP) was established in 2012 to generate green electricity from a community owned wind turbine at Blackshaw Head.
The purpose was also to generate an income for the community over a 20-year period.
Pennine Community Power is a cooperative run by 65 local members, who all invested between £250 and £1000 to establish a community wind turbine in Blackshaw Head.
Apart from paying interest to 65 shareholders PCP expects to be able to give around £80,000 to community projects over the next 15-20 years.
The community wind turbine produced plenty of renewable electricity - 26,000 kWh during its first year of operation.
However, the income generation got delayed when the energy regular Ofgem questioned the grant PCP had received from Big Lottery Fund. Ofgem does not allow Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) payments if State Aid has been given to certain aspects of an electricity generation projects. Ofgem therefore suspended the FIT payments to PCP.
Having spent months negotiating with Ofgem (the energy regulator) Pennine Community Power (PCP) has now had their Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) payments reinstated and backdated to when the suspension took place. PCP has just been paid £5,432 for the period January to September 2013.
Paul Willson, the treasurer of PCP, explains, "Over 50 other community energy projects were also affected by some very little known Ofgem rules on State Aid.
"After returning £8,800 to the Lottery Ofgem agreed to reinstate the FIT payments to PCP for the electricity our wind turbine produce and to backdate the payments for the period since 1st January 2013.
"This is great news as it will now enable us to do the things we were set up to do: give grants to community projects and help other communities set up their own community energy schemes."