Contributing to Dorset’s energy transition
Dorset Council aims to become carbon-neutral by 2040 and has the ambition for the whole of Dorset to become carbon-neutral by 2050. The Council declared a climate emergency in May 2019 and subsequently set up a Climate and ecological emergency strategy – renewable energy, which acknowledges the important role that onshore wind could play. Officers estimate that, if Dorset were to generate 100% of its own energy demand, “we will need around 4GW of solar (around 19,000 acres) or 2GW of wind (around 700 big turbines), or a combination of the two”. This is not an actual development target; it is just to illustrate the magnitude of the challenge at hand. At present, the only operational large-scale wind development in Dorset is the 500kW Rogershill Farm wind turbine near Bere Regis.
According to a study done by Regen on behalf of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), “Dorset generates 500 gigawatthour (GWh) of low carbon electricity, of which 80% is solar PV. This is 5% of Dorset total energy demand.” (Regen, 2021). When operational, Alaska Wind Farm will contribute 8 megawatts (MW) of installed generating capacity to the mix, expected to generate approximately 17GWh per year. Following industry standard calculations, the wind farm would provide enough zero-carbon electricity to:
* meet the electricity demand of up to 5,200 average UK households per year
* replace the emissions of up to 7,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, had the electricity otherwise been produced by fossil fuelled power stations
The wind farm will be situated alongside a 26MWp solar farm at Holme Estate. Both renewable energy projects will be connected to Wareham substation, feeding zero-carbon electricity directly into the local distribution network. Co-locating renewable energy developments is beneficial due to reduced grid connection costs, potential for battery storage, a more stable power supply and complementary generation: the sun shines when the wind doesn’t blow, and vice versa.
Supporting Dorset Scouts
Alaska Wind Farm’s immediate neighbours are the Dorset Scouts, at the Buddens Campsite and Activity Centre. Every year, Buddens welcomes many visitors through their doors to enjoy their first-class activity programme and outdoor pursuits facilities. The wind farm team is excited to support Buddens in their aim to further develop the centre into the top scouting venue in the UK, bringing direct benefits not only to local scouts but to thousands of young people from the UK and all over the world.