Tetcott Community Fund
Written by Carolyn and William Molesworth-St.Aubyn - Tetcott Energy
Tetcott Energy is a three-turbine wind farm on Nethercott Farm, and part of the Tetcott Estate. The development is a central part of the long-term plan for the Tetcott Estate’s future sustainability; profits generated by the turbines will be spent locally and this will allow further investment in its farms, historic infrastructure and in the local community We have been working to build this scheme for about 5 years and it has been a significant undertaking. Now complete, it should operate for the next 20 years and captures revenue opportunities associated with investment in renewable energy.
The Turbines are Enercon E53’s. They are 77m to tip height and capable of an output of 500 kW. Sadly, due to a lack of capacity on the National Grid two of the three are constrained. Their output is capped at 434kWh and 338 kWhs and between May1st and September 1st they are shut down from 10:00 each morning to 16:00 in the afternoon.
Each turbine has its own grid connection. This was not out of choice; it goes back to the lack of capacity on the grid. Turbine 1 connects to the East Curry substation, Turbine 2 to Ashwater and Turbine 3 is connected to Mike and Wendy Greenaway’s Solar Farm at West Venn. Happily, this last turbine is not constrained and is free to generate up to 500 kWh all year.
Many Farms and Estates have taken advantage of the opportunities renewable energy offers but typically this is through an external developer who manages the planning, funding, building and the risk that entails. In return the developer takes the profit and pays the landowner a rent. We knew that the benefit to everyone would be much higher than potential rent if we could build the scheme ourselves. Of course this had to be balanced with the risk, which was not insubstantial. Throughout the process, we continually revaluated this balance. It is good to see the turbines in place and turning now! The constant and unstinting support of the Tetcott and Luffincott local community during the whole planning process and beyond was essential to our decision to proceed with the project in the way we did and to the outcome. There is no doubt in our mind that this unequivocal support weighed heavily on the minds of the Planning department as they went through their decision process.
Despite some recent hiccups on the planning side full planning permission is now in place and the turbines are here to stay. One tangible way that the revenue from the turbines can benefit the local area is via a Community Fund. Tetcott Energy has always planned to provide £7,000 per installed MW per annum for the duration of the project, expected to be a total of 20 years. Despite the restrictions, the three turbines have a combined capacity of 1.272 MW, which equates to £8,904 per annum, and this will be backdated to when the turbines began turning.
The Tetcott Community Fund is designed to provide funds that the Committee can use to support projects that will enhance and benefit our local community and Tetcott Energy looks forward to supporting it in the years that follow.