Less than 24 hours after a county council effectively banned new wind turbines, a £425m finance package has today been announced for an offshore wind farm in the region.
Executive members of Lincolnshire County Council yesterday agreed to call a halt to the “unrestrained invasion” of turbines across its area.
The cash-strapped Conservative-led council has recently been forced to axe nearly a 1,000 jobs as it looks to save £125m from its budget.
But today, a joint venture of green energy developers including Centrica, DONG and Siemens, confirmed they had secured nearly half-a-billion pounds of investment to finance the 270MW Lincs offshore wind farm.
The cash will be provided by 10 commercial banks and will finance the construction of the farm's 75 wind turbines five miles off the coast of Skegness.
Morten Hultberg Buchgreitz, acting Deputy CEO in DONG Energy Wind Power said: "We're very pleased with the interest and effort the banking group have shown and put into establishing the Lincs project financing.
“That the project is still in its construction phase and that a multi-contracting strategy has been chosen adds to the complexity of project financing and makes this milestone quite an accomplishment.”
“We see a well-functioning and deep project financing market for offshore wind projects as one of the important funding sources for the development of the sector and the strive to achieve the targets for implemented capacity set by the EU-countries.”
Explaining the county council's tough new position on wind farms, Cllr Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “There’s been a proliferation of wind farms across Lincolnshire in recent years, and we feel that enough is enough. Although we understand the need for alternative energy and are not opposed to all wind farms, we remain unconvinced by the questionable science behind them.
“Not only are these things spoiling our beautiful countryside for future generations, they could also seriously damage our tourism industry - who wants to spend their holiday looking at a 400ft turbine?
“Similarly, who wants to live next door to one? People enjoy living in Lincolnshire because we have a great way of life, not because the landscape’s blighted by wind farms. On top of that, there are also issues around the damage caused to roads during the construction and decommissioning of turbines.
“And at a time of rising ‘fuel poverty’ people shouldn’t have to subsidise these developments through their energy bills. For these reason, we want to raise the bar even higher for anyone wanting to construct a wind farm in the county, and urge them to think twice about the impact their plans will have.”