Kent prison unlocks the power of wind energy

Standford Hill prison
Wind energy developer Partnerships for Renewables (PfR) has unveiled its first completed turbine installation at HMP Standford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, with a formal opening by local MP, Gordon Henderson.

The two-turbine 4.6MW development is the result of a collaboration with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Sheppey Prisons Cluster. The turbines will provide the MoJ a rent based on a percentage from sale of the electricity, saving money for the public purse and creating clean energy on public land.

“One of the responsibilities of my role as governor is to find ways to reduce the overheads of the prison and therefore provide better value for the taxpayer,” explained Sarah Coccia, governor of the Sheppey Prison Cluster.

“The development of the wind energy park has been fascinating to both watch and be part of. I am very proud to be able to view these turbines, now built, from my office window.”

PfR also hopes, subject to a public sector procurement process, to operate a future private wire so that the prison can directly benefit from the electricity generated by the turbines, cutting operating costs and further improving the prison’s carbon footprint.

The turbines were formally switched on by Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, who said: “I am a big supporter of renewable energy, not only from an environmental perspective, but because I believe it is vital to long term energy security in our country. Despite what the critics would have us believe, wind can become a cheap and clean energy source.”

PfR also says a contribution of over £10,000 a year will be made to a community benefit fund to assist projects in the local area. Local parish councillors, stakeholder groups, and individual residents are invited to take part in the decisions on the allocation of the fund, a process entirely independent of the developer.

Stephen Ainger, ceo of Partnerships for Renewables, added: “I am delighted that we have reached the milestone of our first development project to generate power. Standford Hill sets us on the way to achieving our target portfolio of 460MW of onshore wind generating capacity, the majority of which will be delivered in partnership with public bodies.

“This is a big step for our company and its partners, and I hope it is a development that both the Ministry of Justice and the Isle of Sheppey can feel proud of.”

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