Go-ahead for Goonhilly Downs upgrade

Renewable Energy Generation (REG) has been given the green light to raise capacity at its Goonhilly Downs wind farm on the Lizard Peninsular in Cornwall, UK to 15MW.

The wind farm will be powered up from its current 5.6MW by replacing all of the existing turbines with more modern equipment.

REG says the project will harness the proven wind resource more effectively and will provide enough energy to supply over 7,000 homes.

The repowering of the project was originally considered by the Local Planning Authority in May 2008 and gained significant majority support from the committee members, having been recommended for approval by the planning officer.

However, as Goonhilly is an area of outstanding natural beauty, it was referred to the Government Office South West which has now confirmed that it does not consider any action is warranted by the Secretary of State.

Subject to the anticipated full discharge of planning conditions, turbine orders will be placed and electricity production is hoped to begin in REG’s next financial year.

Commenting on developments, Andrew Whalley, Chief Executive Officer of REG, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received approval for the repowering of Goonhilly. The capacity increase will not only contribute significantly to Cornwall’s overall renewables targets, but further endorses our credentials as a developer of even the most challenging UK wind projects.

“Goonhilly, together with our project at Loscar in South Yorkshire, which received planning permission last month, will significantly increase our UK operating wind plant to around 35 megawatts.”