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Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 09:06 UK
Villagers' wind turbine turns towards profit
Entrance to Hockerton wind turbine
Simon Tilley at the base of the turbine visible from the A617 near Southwell

Four months after its installation a community owned wind turbine has generated over 76,708Kwh of electricity for the people of Hockerton.

Seventy-seven investors, over half of them local, donated £230,000, approximately £3,500 each, to buy the second-hand wind turbine.

The electricity created is fed into the national grid and sold on.

They hope to get up to 8% annual return on their investment and help the environment at the same time.

The energy generated does not go directly into Hockerton homes, villagers still have to pay their electricity bills, but there is generally a surplus.

Local resident Simon Tilley, who is part of the scheme, believed those who had invested would see a return.

"They get back interest on their money [and] the benefit of investing in an ethical company which is going to be supporting local sustainability projects.

"The surplus doesn't go back to a big remote corporate company somewhere it goes back into the village."

Sustainable community

Company Sustainable Hockerton was formed by a group of villagers committed to preserving the environment while meeting their own needs.

As well as creating renewable electricity the villagers aim to reduce Hockerton's demand for energy, look at renewable heating methods, reduce the amount of waste the village produces and increase self sufficiency in water and water treatment.

Simon Tilley said the scheme wasn't without risk: "Especially with just one turbine. If it is not working it isn't generating and we have nothing to back us up.

"But on the other hand, because we get quite a lot of money for the electricity, the potential gains for the village are very high."

The 76,708Kwh generated so far is worth approximately £7,500.

"It's rather pleasant reading the meter," admitted Mr Tilley.

Wind power

Hockerton's turbine started generating power on 26 January 2010. It was officially opened by former Nottingham South MP Alan Simpson on 21 March 2010.

Hockerton wind turbine
The Hockerton wind turbines blades are 30 metres in diameter

Prior to the turbine going ahead there were several meetings held in the village hall to let the people of the parish have their say on the plans. Not everyone was happy with the idea.

"There was opposition in the village. Noise seemed to be a crucial issue and people living a mile away thought they wouldn't sleep anymore. I can't hear it 200 yards away," said villager Peter Cooke.

While some remain unconvinced, he said since the project had been operating he had had some positive feedback.

"One person from Winkburn, the neighbouring village, who was very worried about it has come up and said 'I was wrong that it would actually cause any kind of problem'."




SEE ALSO
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05 Feb 10 |  Nottinghamshire

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