AN application has been submitted to repower and extend Cold Northcott Windfarm at Laneast, near Launceston, to include the removal of all the existing wind turbines and to replace them with up to 22 new turbines.

A planning statement suggests, if permitted, the development is likely to be a critical contributor in Cornwall Council’s policy ambition to achieve a 100 per cent renewable electricity supply by 2030.

Efforts were made by EDF, the previous owner of the windfarm, to explore the repowering of the site. A ‘scoping opinion’ request was submitted in 2013 for a large scale repowering of Cold Northcott Wind Farm for wind turbines around 100 metres to tip. 

In 2015 a planning performance agreement was entered into by EDF for an unspecified number of large wind turbines to repower the site. The plans stalled and the windfarm later came under the ownership of the new applicant, WMW Consultants Ltd.

With the original wind turbines being from a different era, with outdated and unreliable technology which is increasingly expensive and difficult to maintain, the applicant engaged with Cornwall Council to explore the options to repower the site. The discussions met with officer support and led to an application to vary the original consent to allow three-bladed rotors in place of the original two-bladed turbines. The applicant has to date repowered two of the original turbine locations with three-bladed rotors.

The applicant is seeking to maximise the renewable electricity production of the windfarm at Cold Northcott, by removing the existing and approved wind turbines and replacing them with 22 larger scale wind turbines.

The chosen model is an EWT at 84 metres to hub height and 61 metres rotor (totalling 114.5 metres to tip). A number of EWT turbines can be seen within the wider area, in particular at Lower Tregeen, Otterham and Piper’s Pool. These wind turbines have sophisticated operational capabilities, including feathering the blades to mitigate noise or shadow flicker to ensure compliance with strict amenity protections at all times.

A supporting statement claims the site is rare in Cornwall in that it has both a very good wind resource and a substantial grid connection available via the existing connection and underground cabling to Otterham. It adds that being one of the most sparsely populated areas of Cornwall, there are very few sensitive issues. 

“The development would result in a substantial and significant increase in renewable energy generation without a net increase in the number of wind turbines,” according to the applicant.

For more details see PA23/02727 at