Speaking from our own experience the process has been reasonably complex,
not least because this was the first application of its kind to Medway
Council. I hope the fact that we have received permission will make the
process slightly easier for others. It took us about ten months from our
initial research into the project to securing planning permission, however
it has certainly been worth the effort.
As a first step for anyone I suggest you need to take is to asses the viability of your
location for a turbine. An ideal site has a high average wind speed and
clear "wind fetch" in the direction of the prevailing wind. For the UK this
is the South West and some Northerlies in the winter. Ideally in this
direction you would have few tress and no houses, and ideally open fields.
However we have some bungalows at around 120m and some small trees. Issues
such as this can be overcome. To overcome the "roughness" of our
particular surrounding area we have opted for a taller 15m tower height to
get "cleaner" air. Obstacles cause wind turbulence that can decrease the
life time and efficiency of a turbine.
To work out your wind speed there is a DTI database available (Noabl). This allows you to convert you postcode into grid co-ordinates that return a value for a sq km. Wind speeds are measured in meter per second at different heights. As wind speed of over 4.5 to 5ms is considered good at 10m above
ground. Please see for details
The planning process is a little daunting. But the tide is turning. Central
government is increasingly encouraging small scale renawables and in fact
the recent ODPM (Office of the Deputy Prime minister) document PPS22 (Planning Policy Statement 22 ) spells out that small scale renewables should not be turned down for environmental or countryside concerns, This means that the planner must start with the premise that they should support the
An applicant will need to demonstrate the turbine will not cause a nuisance to
neighbours through either visual or acoustic impacts. You will also need to
consider whether it will impact on the local "street scene". It is
likely you will encounter local objection to your proposal, neighbours are
likely to be far less enthusiastic than yourselves.
Our application generated over 40 letters of complaint which resulted in the
planning committee having to get involved. It is advisable to mobilise and
drum up support in the local politicians and environmental groups.
The Turbine design is very important with a great deal to choose from. I
Think we will in the end go with the Proven 6kw on a 15m tower with grid
connection, although the turbine we initially applied for is the Dutch
Tulipo. I rate both machines.
Clear Skies grants are available from the government at £1000 per KW, up to
a maximum of 5k. Once you have planning permission this is relatively
straight forward but you need to go with an approved turbine and an approved
The output of the turbines vary. I hope to get over 10,000 kwh a year from
mine. The average property uses 3000 and a larger house 6000.The surplus can
be sold at 7.1p per kwh to your supplier, and you can also receive ROC
(Renewable Obligation Certificates) payments of around 4p per kwh on all the
energy produced although I understand the application process for this is
In respect of recommended installers, I have secured quotes from almost all
the UK ones. The two I would recommend (purely through my personal
impressions and competitiveness of quotes are ???? Email me for details)
Should anyone require any assistance with a planning application I am happy
to offer advice and help based on my own experience, contacts and detailed
Please see http://www.renew-reuse-recycle.com/showarticle.pl?id=31;n=701