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A Green New Year blows in on Sheppey


  • Welcome for New Rides Wind Farm as it starts generating green power

  • Island residents’ energy needs now met entirely by green energy

  • Wind farm is symbol of commitment to tackle climate change

Swale Friends of the Earth has welcomed the completion of the latest wind farm projects on the Isle of Sheppey. The four turbines at New Rides in Eastchurch, developed by Energiekontor, were installed in December and have now started generating.

Swale FoE has calculated that, with the completion of the project, the Isle of Sheppey is now generating enough renewable power (from wind turbines and solar farms) to meet the average annual electricity needs of over 20,000 households, more than the number of homes on the Island [1].

Anna Stanford, Coordinator of Swale Friends of the Earth, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the turbines at New Rides Wind Farm now turning. Even more exciting is that, with the completion of these projects, there is now enough renewable energy being generated on Sheppey to meet the needs of over 20,000 households every year – that’s more than the homes on the Island.

People are worried about climate change but in Swale we should feel proud that we are doing our bit. New Rides Wind Farm is a symbol of positive action to protect our planet and shows that we have the technology to solve the climate crisis.”

The New Rides Wind Farm comprises four turbines totalling 8.8MW in capacity. The developer estimates that these will supply enough electricity to more than 6,000 homes a year.

The other renewable energy projects on the Isle of Sheppey are [2]:

· HMP Standford Hill Wind Farm: 2 x 2.3MW wind turbines = 4.6MW

· Sheerness Docks Wind Farm: 4 x 2.05MW wind turbines = 8.2MW

· Old Rides Solar Farm: 8MW

· South Lees Solar Farm: 11MW

This means the total amount of renewable energy installed on the Island as at 1 January 2019 is 40.6MW. This is sufficient to meet the average electricity needs of around 20,200 households every year, according to Government statistics [3].

The calculation takes into account the fact that the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine all the time (i.e. the capacity factor of the wind and solar generating plant).

Renewables across Swale:

In the wider Swale borough, there are a further seven renewable energy projects operational, with a combined installed capacity of over 77MW and others planned [4].

Swale Borough Council’s latest renewable energy study concludes that Swale could achieve 30% of its electricity from renewables by 2020 to contribute to the Government’s renewable energy target. [5]

Anna Stanford added;

“In Swale we are vulnerable to the effects of climate change – like sea level rise, flooding and drought. Renewable energy can play a significant role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, by moving us away from dirty fossil fuels.

Renewables supplied a record breaking third of the UK’s power in November and costs have fallen dramatically, making it a cost-effective, as well as clean, solution to meeting our energy needs.”



· Anna Stanford, Coordinator:

· Amanda Thesiger, Secretary, Press & Publicity:

07956 457201

See over for notes to editors…

Notes to editors:

1. Isle of Sheppey population: in the 2011 census this was 40,300. The latest Mid Year Population Estimates from the Office of National Statistics (published by KCC in October 2018 estimate total population now at 44,770. The number of households is calculated by dividing population by 2.4. This gives the approximate number of Sheppey households as between 16,790 and 18,650.

2. Details of all the renewable energy projects in Swale can be found on the UK Renewable Energy Map

3. Calculating homes supplied by wind: 21.6MW x 0.309 (capacity factor for wind energy from Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) x 8760 (number of hours in a year) gives the annual generation. Dividing this by 3.781MWh (average UK household electricity consumption, BEIS) gives the approximate number of homes supplied = 15,464 homes per annum.

Calculating homes supplied by solar PV: 19MW x 0.108 (capacity factor for solar PV from BEIS) x 8760 (number of hours in a year) / 3.781 MWh (average UK household electricity consumption, BEIS) = 4,754 homes per annum.

[4] Taken from UK Renewable Energy Map

25MW Ridham CHP Plant (Biomass)

22MW - Tonge Corner Farm (Solar PV)

2MW - Morrisons roof mounted solar (Solar PV)

10MW - Orchard Farm (Solar PV)

11.33MW - Bobbing solar farm (Solar PV)

1.68MW - Iwade Solar Farm (Solar PV)

5.25MW - Abbey Fields Farm (Solar PV)

Total: 77.26MW

Further projects are under construction/in planning, such as EfW projects and the Garden of England Energy Project at Kemsley.

[5] Referenced in Bearing Fruits 2031: The Swale Borough Local Plan 2017.

About Swale Friends of the Earth

Swale FoE is a voluntary group of people from different backgrounds - passionate about creating a thriving world for everyone. That means a healthy natural environment and a fair economy where everyone’s needs are met, now and in the long run. Swale Friends of the Earth reflects national FoE campaigns and also gets involved in many local issues. We try to increase environmental awareness locally and bring a different perspective to debates in Swale like energy and climate, transport and air pollution, food and land-use, planning, protection of natural heritage, sustainable development etc.

Swale FoE meets at 7.30pm on the second Tuesday of every month, at The Old Wine Vaults, Faversham. We always welcome new members.

Facebook: Swale Friends of the Earth Twitter: @swale_foe

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