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Page last updated at 09:03 GMT, Thursday, 27 January 2011
Wind turbine produces more electricity than village

People looking up at Hockerton's wind turbine. Photo Luke Tilley
Hockerton's wind turbine started generating power on 26 January 2010

A community owned wind turbine is being hailed a success by villagers a year after it started generating power.

Hockerton resident Simon Tilley said: "We've produced as much electricity as the village has consumed which I think is amazing from just the turbine that's there."

So far the turbine has generated over 240,000Kwh of electricity (latest figures from end of December 2010), the equivalent to saving the emission of 136 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

"That's really good," added Mr Tilley, who is one of 77 investors, over half of whom are local, who donated approximately £3,500 each to buy the second-hand wind turbine.

A group of Hockerton residents formed company Sustainable Hockerton in 2009.

The aim was to both help the environment and get a healthy annual return on money invested in the turbine.

"We're hoping to pay in the region of 5% in the first year," Mr Tilley said. "It's likely to be a lot more than any of the banks are offering."

There is now a waiting list of people wanting to buy into the scheme.

The energy generated is worth approximately £54,000. As well as paying out to investors this will be used to pay for running costs, with some saved for repairs.

Any monies remaining will be given back to the village to support sustainable ventures.

"Our plan is to talk to the community and decide what we want to do. That's the next step," added Mr Tilley.

The Hockerton wind turbine is erected. Photo by Simon Tilley
Company Sustainable Hockerton was formed by a group of villagers
Hockerton's turbine started generating power on 26 January 2010
As well as creating renewable electricity the villagers aim to reduce Hockerton's demand for energy
They aim to look at renewable heating methods
Villagers aim to reduce the amount of waste they produce
Hockerton also hopes to increase self-sufficiency in water and water treatment

Hockerton is also actively encouraging other community groups to consider setting up their own wind turbines.

Mr Tilley said they had learnt a lot from the scheme.

"It wasn't the nuts and bolts of setting up the turbine it was the legal and financial stuff that was most difficult," he said.

Hockerton Housing Project runs a workshop on "harvesting wind for communities and farmers".

Its next course is on 17 February 2011.

"We've had quite a lot of interest [in the course].

"There are at least two local groups [keen on setting up a community wind turbine] as well as farmers as well.

"The best bit is seeing it up and running. It's not particularly big and yet it is meeting the electricity needs of the village which is fantastic really."

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