Major windfarm plans submitted in Calderdale

Early stage plans for a major onshore wind farm on the hills above Hebden Bridge have been submitted to Calderdale Council.

Calderdale Wind Farm Ltd, in collaboration with energy investors WWRE, is exploring options to build what could become England’s largest onshore windfarm on 2,352 ha of land at Walshaw Moor, either side of the three Walshaw Dean Reservoirs.

The firm estimates the project will boost GVA by £26m a year.

The firm has submitted a scoping report to Calderdale Council to help identify the significant likely effects of the project which will need to be fully assessed as part of a future planning application.

 The early vision for Calderdale Wind Farm includes:

  • Up to 65 wind turbines, capable of generating up to 302MW of renewable electricity
  • 150MW of battery storage
  • Enough renewable energy to power up to 286,491 homes per year

The firm said the project could save more than 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. The plan include planting 300,000 new trees on the Walshaw Moor estate.

WWRE executive chairman Christopher Wilson said, “The submission of our scoping report marks a significant milestone for the Calderdale Wind Farm project. It follows extensive environmental, ecological and wind studies to understand the potential of Walshaw Moor and means we can now begin to explore in more detail how we might be able to create a fantastic renewable energy project in Calderdale. 

“The wind potential of Walshaw Moor is incredible and presents a real opportunity for the area to play a nationally significant role in the UK’s Net Zero transition. If consented, it will also mean the end of grouse shooting on the estate.”

 The project would also see the creation of a £75 million Community Benefit Fund which could be paid to Calderdale Council to help reduce fuel poverty across the district.

 Wilson added, “Around 16,500 households in Calderdale are living in fuel poverty, with around 1,200 of these being within the HX7 postcode area. We are exploring how a Community Benefit Fund could be used to provide financial support to these households across the 30-year operational lifetime of Calderdale Wind Farm.”

Submission of the scoping report serves as a foundation for the forthcoming Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which will assess the potential impact of the proposed wind farm on the surrounding environment.

Further information about future community consultation will be announced later this year.