Locality Survey 2023

Scale and Visual Impact.

I need to understand the visual impact of the wind turbine on the area. I had no idea the turbine was 150m high.

I need to understand the visual impact of the wind turbine on the area. I had no idea the turbine was 150m high.

At this stage a single turbine is proposed, being 130m to the central Hub. The tips of the three blade rota will rise to 200m in height. A photo montage, of the completed site from Red Bridge, Eyes Lane, can be seen below. (Coming Soon)

Why is the proposed wind turbine located at Asland Park and not offshore or other location?

Why is the proposed wind turbine located at Asland Park and not offshore or other location?

A plan showing the solar panels and wind turbine can be seen at this link (coming soon). The solar panels face to the west and east, rather than the normal south facing, as this enables more sunlight to be captured during the day and also spreads the intensity over the whole day, rather than just in the middle of the day.

The area beneath the wind turbine blades is free from solar panels, as ice can form on the wind turbine blades, which can then be released from the blade as the ice melts and can damage the solar panels beneath.

Seeing what the proposed solar structures would look like on a map/location of the 80 acres would be helpful.

Seeing what the proposed solar structures would look like on a map/location of the 80 acres would be helpful.

A plan showing the solar panels and wind turbine can be seen at this link (coming soon). The solar panels face to the west and east, rather than the normal south facing, as this enables more sunlight to be captured during the day and also spreads the intensity over the whole day, rather than just in the middle of the day.

The area beneath the wind turbine blades is free from solar panels, as ice can form on the wind turbine blades, which can then be released from the blade as the ice melts and can damage the solar panels beneath.

How tall will the turbine be?

How tall will the turbine be?

The proposed wind turbine with a maximum rated output of 4.2 megawatts will have a rotor diameter of 138m. The tower will be 130m high. The tip of the blades will reach height of 200m. For comparison, the wind turbines on Mawdesley Moss are 55m high.

The proposed wind turbine with a maximum rated output of 4.2 megawatts will have a rotor diameter of 138m. The tower will be 130m high. The tip of the blades will reach height of 200m. For comparison, the wind turbines on Mawdesley Moss are 55m high.

The proposed wind turbine with a maximum rated output of 4.2 megawatts will have a rotor diameter of 138m. The tower will be 130m high. The tip of the blades will reach height of 200m. For comparison, the wind turbines on Mawdesley Moss are 55m high.

The noise generated by the Wind Turbine, when measured from a distance of 600m away is under 35dB, to give a comparable example a typical library or bird call is generally around 44dB. All residential properties are at least 600m away from the turbine. The photo montage here (coming soon) shows a view of the completed Asland Walks Energy Park from Red Bridge looking north being in 2038. The tree planting undertaken during the Spring of 2023 will screen most of the solar panels when established, as shown in the photo montage.

Clarity on who will benefit and what benefits are.

The benefit to the parish and the certainty of said benefit is not explained simply and clearly.

The benefit to the parish and the certainty of said benefit is not explained simply and clearly.

A simple explanation is as follows:-

  1. It will take 5 years to get planning permission, and then a further 10 years to build out the wind and solar costing a total of £30m, all of which will be paid by GA.
  2. Bretherton Energy, a community owned company, will receive 5% of all the electricity generated from the site, at no cost, as soon as it starts to generate electricity, which can be sold or used directly by Bretherton residents having passed through a battery, so there is a “break” between the electricity Grid and electrical energy from Asland Walks.
  3. Electricity will initially be sold at the wholesale market rates to the Grid (or GA). This will allow income to build up within Bretherton Energy to be able to buy the battery which may cost £2.7m when fully operational.
  4. To allow Bretherton Residents to use this physical energy (which is worth some five times more to residents themselves, than the money received when sold to the Grid), it will require two batteries, one to charge and one to discharge, so there is no physical electrical connection between the Grid and the private wire connection from Asland Walks.
  5. As Bretherton is fed from two electrical networks, it will require two batteries to feed the whole of Bretherton.
  6. When the batteries do not have sufficient power, then electrical energy will be provided by the Grid, as it currently does. The appointed Electricity Supplier will charge the current rate from the Grid, and a lower rate from Asland Walks that is fed into the Grid via the two batteries.
  7. The whole project will be administered by Energy Local Bretherton, a new community owned and managed company that is supported by the National Organisation Energy Local, who currently have 21 other similar schemes (at different stages of development), but this will be their largest scheme to date.
  8. When the site is fully operational, if all of the electricity is sold to the Grid (or GA), it is estimated to raise between £300,000 and £400,000 worth of income. If residents receive all this electrical power directly, it will displace electrical costs of between £1m and £1.5m for residents of Bretherton, being approximately £2,000 per person, depending on electrical cost, taxes and levies being incurred at the time. The wind turbine and solar panels will last for 25 years, after which time the planning permission will require its complete removal.

Energy Local proposal all seems a bit vague. How will the community energy partnership work? Which homes will be excluded?

Energy Local proposal all seems a bit vague. How will the community energy partnership work? Which homes will be excluded?

Energy Local have produced a document setting out how it will work. See this link (Coming soon)

How would you supply everyone in the village? There are more than one electricity power source. Will it include homes on the outskirts?

How would you supply everyone in the village? There are more than one electricity power source. Will it include homes on the outskirts?

The Bretherton Grid is fed primarily by two primary distribution points, being Bretherton North (south of North Road) and Bretherton South (behind the school on South Road). A double battery system is required at each point to feed the vast majority of homes throughout Bretherton.

Barrowford House and Red Bridge Farm to the south of Asland Walks are powered from a separate network, so will require a separate dedicated feed from Asland Walks so they can receive similar benefits as all other residents. It is intended that all residents will have an equal opportunity to join the scheme, but there will be no compulsion.

People on the outskirts of the village are usually ignored

People on the outskirts of the village are usually ignored

It is certainly not the intention to ignore people on the outskirts of Bretherton Village. As far as practical, the opportunity will be available to all and where this is not practical, then the intention would be to compensate the residents in some way, so that all residents at least have the opportunity to join the scheme, if they so wish.

The information provided is scant and whilst the solar seems ok, 150m turbine is huge. CGI, drawings, plans, elevations

The information provided is scant and whilst the solar seems ok, 150m turbine is huge. CGI, drawings, plans, elevations

As part of the culture and heritage assessments being undertaken, technical detailed photo montages showing the visual appearance of Asland Walks Energy Park and their impact on listed heritage properties will be prepared and circulated. The photo montage currently on the website is an “artistic impression” not a fully Compliant CGI illustration due to the time available, but will be completed in the near future.

We are in support of the scheme in principle but for solar power not on shore wind, which will be a blight on our community and eyeline. Wind power is a great solution but should be off shore farms and areas of low human and bird population

We are in support of the scheme in principle but for solar power not on shore wind, which will be a blight on our community and eyeline. Wind power is a great solution but should be off shore farms and areas of low human and bird population

Unfortunately, in Lancashire the sun does not regularly shine. However, the wind is more reliable and generally available throughout the day and night. As part of the site assessment, the available wind speed and direction will be monitored for at least two years, to be able to fully assess as to what the options are in terms of the size and dimensions of the wind turbine.

There are many aspects of the model that is unclear. How do parts of the village benefits if different parts of the village are connected to different substations?

There are many aspects of the model that is unclear. How do parts of the village benefits if different parts of the village are connected to different substations?

The electricity from Asland Walks will directly feed a battery. Then based on historical electrical consumption and anticipating the future electrical demand, the Battery Manager would release onto the distribution network the estimated amount of electrical power that will be consumed by Bretherton residents and member of the scheme. In this way, the electrical network has the required electrical energy in order to provide the Energy Local Bretherton members with the required electricity to use.

The battery itself is required to provide an electrical energy “break” between the Grid and the source of supply, so that no electrical (loop) can be established, caused by having two points of connection to the Grid. Bretherton is served by two primary substations which currently serve the majority of residents throughout the village, so a separate battery is needed for each substation

There are many aspects of the model that is unclear. How do parts of the village benefit if different parts of the village are connected to different substations?

There are many aspects of the model that is unclear. How do parts of the village benefit if different parts of the village are connected to different substations?

The electricity from Asland Walks will directly feed a battery. Then based on historical electrical consumption and anticipating the future electrical demand, the Battery Manager would release onto the distribution network the estimated amount of electrical power that will be consumed by Bretherton residents and member of the scheme. In this way, the electrical network has the required electrical energy in order to provide the Energy Local Bretherton members with the required electricity to use.

The battery itself is required to provide an electrical energy “break” between the Grid and the source of supply, so that no electrical (loop) can be established, caused by having two points of connection to the Grid. Bretherton is served by two primary substations which currently serve the majority of residents throughout the village, so a separate battery is needed for each substation

Cost of the Scheme and how financed.

What is the cost to install this and how long will it take to pay off the capital? What are the running costs and who is responsible for maintenance and operation?

What is the cost to install this and how long will it take to pay off the capital? What are the running costs and who is responsible for maintenance and operation?

It In terms of the Asland Walks Energy Park, GA Pet Food Partners will provide the wind turbine and solar panels, which are likely to cost some £30m.

To enable residents to use the electricity generated themselves, they will require a battery to provide that needed “break” between the point of generation and the Grid. Until that is installed, the electrical energy will be sold and the income retained until there are sufficient funds to purchase the battery. The battery will be owned and managed by a “not for profit” community company who will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the battery.

There is no compulsion for the community to have the battery in order to use the electricity direct and, as an alternative, the community can just continue to sell the 5% of electricity and receive the income for community nominated schemes. This will be for the “not for profit” community company to decide.

How would those who can’t take part be compensated?

How would those who can’t take part be compensated?

There are two residential properties, Red Bridge Farm and Barrowford House that are not connected to the Bretherton electrical supply network. It is therefore proposed that they would receive a direct link from the Asland Walks Energy Park, so that they can take part in the scheme in a similar manner.

At this stage, we are not aware of any other residents that cannot receive electrical energy and be part of the scheme. If there are such residents, then the community company would seek to compensate them, so as to receive a similar benefit, as if they wished to take part.

What is the long term security of the enterprise?

What is the long term security of the enterprise?

In terms of long term security of the enterprise, the operation and use of the park is protected by a Section 106 legal agreement, established as part of the planning permission granted between Chorley Council and the Land Owner. This legal agreement will bind the land owner and the operator that uses the equipment to contribute 5% of the generation to residents of Bretherton. Therefore, if GA Pet Food Partners was to go out of business, then the subsequent owner of Asland Walks Energy Park would be bound by the Legal agreement that if they continued to generate electricity, then 5% would be required to be provided to the community enterprise. If electrical generation ceased all together, then the Legal Agreement would require the remove of the wind turbine and the solar panels.

Solar field – would it be fenced off? How would it affect wildlife? How might it affect surface water drainage?

Solar field – would it be fenced off? How would it affect wildlife? How might it affect surface water drainage?

Yes, the solar panels will be fenced as theft of the panels is a major concern. In addition, in the most vulnerable areas, there will be a ditch and tree planting to help limit and prevent unauthorised access. However, the current footpath along the River Douglas, and the towpath along the canal will be widened to provide better access, and encourage the wildlife to flourish.

The area between the solar panels will be sown to grass, and grazed by sheep, providing a much improved wildlife habitat rather than the current arable field, in addition to the landscape planting of some 25,000 woodland trees will assist the creation of an improved biodiversity.

The open ditches created to restrict access, will also improve the surface water drainage, supporting the existing underground field drainage.

It would be good to have an understanding of the actual extent of public access (Asland Walk)

It would be good to have an understanding of the actual extent of public access (Asland Walk)

The website www.brethertonenergy.co.uk shows the detailed planting scheme and the exact width involved, but generally the access along the towpath will be widened to 8m from the canal bank to give more area for public access, with a further 11m wide landscaped planting strip for approximately half the length of the canal.

Likewise, along the westerly bank of the River Douglas, the footpath will be at least an 8m wide running along the top of the embankment, with woodland planting and a hedge to the west to limit direct views of the solar panels to the west when walking along the footpath.

A visitor “interpretation hut” will be placed at the northern end of Asland Walks. This will give full details of the sites history, live reporting of the energy being generated, and 360° views from the hub on the wind turbine giving views over the south west Lancashire plain.

How much will residents need to pay to finance the battery storage? What about those who can’t afford to? What would the costs be? Would it be available to all?

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How much will residents need to pay to finance the battery storage? What about those who can’t afford to? What would the costs be? Would it be available to all?

The residents themselves will not physically have to pay for the battery. The money for the battery will be accrued from the electrical energy sales. As and when sufficient monies have been accrued, or the community company feel it is financially viable for them to do so, they can borrow the needed capital to purchase the battery in order to have the physical benefit of the electrical power as opposed to just selling the electrical power, to the Grid at the wholesale market price.

However, it is entirely up to the community company to decide, but with no risk to residents. It is the intention of the scheme to make it available to all residents if they wish to join the scheme.

Community Enterprise – What are the costs?

Community Enterprise – What are the costs?

As GA Pet Food Partners are providing 5% of the electricity generated at no cost to the community enterprise, that can either be sold or utilised by residents, there is no cost. However, the cost and complication do vary depending on the community wishes. The simplest solution would be for the 5% of electricity generated to be sold via the Grid for others to use. This income would then be used for community projects within Bretherton Parish. This brings minimal involvement and minimal cost.

As an alternative, residents can make use of the electricity generated themselves and replace the electricity purchased from the National Grid. However, this requires the purchase of a battery together with its maintenance cost. This allows residents to utilise electrical energy generated directly and is worth some five times more to members of the scheme

It needs a definitive proposal with approx costs. How will the cost be funded and what would be the timescale for installation? What are the projections for return of energy after all these overheads are taken into account?

It needs a definitive proposal with approx costs. How will the cost be funded and what would be the timescale for installation? What are the projections for return of energy after all these overheads are taken into account?

The previous questions have dealt with cost and how the community enterprise is funded. Set out below is the proposed timescale.

The potential timing and phasing of the scheme is as follows:-

Tree Planting Year 1

Two year Bird Study & Wind Speed Monitoring Year 2

Planning Application Year 3

Planning Approval & Section 106 Year 4

Wind Turbine Construction Year 5

Phase 1 PV Year 8

Phase 2 PV Year 10

Phase 3 PV Year 12

Phase 4 PV Year 14

As mentioned previously, the estimated cost is some £30m. GA Pet Food Partners proposes to phase the build so that it can fund the development while the community enterprises accrues the needed funds to purchase the battery, if it wishes to do so.

I doubt the park would be an attractive place to visit

I doubt the park would be an attractive place to visit

Part of the tree planting has recently been undertaken, it is now possible to envisage how the wide open space between the canal and the woodland planting will improve public access and the ambiance of the canal. This wide margin will be mown and maintained, both along the canal and riverbank giving space for public recreation. Whereas previously, the towpath and the footpath along the river bank was limited to almost single file access with the remaining field being intensively farmed.

In addition, a Visitor Interpretation Centre will allow visitors to see, learn and understand how electrical energy has and is being generated from the Asland Walks Energy Park together with 360 degree views from the potential 130m hub of the wind turbine.