Thrive Renewables and community interest group Ambition Community Energy have announced plans to build the country’s largest onshore wind turbine in Lawrence Weston, Bristol.
The turbine will be 115m in diameter and have a tip height of 150m. It will have a capacity of 4.2MW, enough to power 3,000 homes, and save almost 12,000t of carbon emissions over its lifetime.
The work has been kickstarted by a £4m loan from Thrive Renewables and groundwork is expected to start in June. It is hoped that the turbine will be commissioned in Spring 2023.
The turbine will be entirely community owned and all profits made from electricity sales will be reinvested back into the area as a driver for regeneration. There are also plans to build an Energy Learning Zone to inspire young people and provide training to up-skill residents to take on zero carbon careers.
Matthew Clayton, Thrive Renewables managing director, said: “It’s extremely impressive to see the determination and resilience Ambition Community Energy has shown in getting the project to this stage.
“Thrive’s unique collaborative funding model will enable them to get the turbine built and operational after years of planning work.
“Locally owned projects such as these will play a fundamental role in the future energy system, providing clean electricity that will help to reduce bills and generate revenue that can be plugged back into the community.”
Mark Pepper, Ambition Community Energy chair and Ambition Lawrence Weston development manager, said: “The money generated from the wind turbine will go a long way to address the historic fuel and general poverty that Lawrence Weston continues to suffer.
“It will help fund and run our planned new community building. This centre will deliver the community and climate development action plans, written by the residents, and a renewable energy and construction skills academy. These actions will ensure we are well placed to benefit from any ‘just energy transition’ that may happen.”
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