Boost for Morecambe MP’s wind farm fight

Wind turbines in Heysham.
Wind turbines in Heysham.

The MP for Morecambe has hailed the end of a Government subsidy which he says could mean no more new wind farms in Morecambe and Heysham.

David Morris said he was “delighted” after it was announced new onshore wind farms will be excluded from a subsidy scheme from April 1 2016, a year earlier than expected.

Mr Morris said it could help him fight against a planned wind turbine at Heysham Port.

Planning permission was given in February for the Peel Energy scheme – a 77m high turbine on the North Quay at the port – despite objections from residents.

Four of the energy-generating structures have also been built on land in Heysham.

Three were part of an 7.5MW wind farm near the bypass road, an £11.7m investment by energy firm Banks Renewables. A fourth was built on nearby Fanny House Farm.

Mr Morris said: “I am delighted that the subsidy for onshore wind farms has been stopped.

“I know many of my constituents will also be pleased at the proposal as it will see new applications in the Lune Valley and Heysham dwindle and hopefully cease altogether.

“It will also see turbines which have been granted in the last few months be reviewed and if they have not already been granted access to the grid could stop them altogether.

“I will be asking questions in the coming weeks about what this means for the turbine granted at Heysham Port which I have fought against. This could potentially mean that it is never built.”

Mr Morris has asked Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate, if there is any local and national Government support available for decommissioning wind farms at the end of their

productive life span and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Ms Rudd had told MPs the end of the subsidy, part of the Government’s election mainifesto, was likely to mean 2,500 planned turbines would not be built.

Figures by power regulators Ofgem claim there are 5,061 onshore turbines in the UK, which generated 18,000 gigawatt hours of electrcity in 2014. They said 5.5 million homes could run for a year on that power, which is 5.6% of the UK’s total electricity needs.