When we started, I took a study group of 12 people to three different factories in Denmark. They had a 55kW machine and a 75kW machine – in those days that caused great excitement!
When we went to the planners they were completely nonplussed because they’d never really heard of wind farms. It was turned down and went to the county council who instructed the planning and environmental officers, and the Ward Member, to go to Denmark and have a look for themselves. They all came back happy!
We’ve always supported Delabole – we had our own unofficial community fund in the early days – we supported the local cricket club, buying them new equipment and things like that.
Nowadays, Good Energy give £9.5k a year paid into a community fund for various things and they give a 20% discount on energy to anybody who lives in the village.
I’m Peter Edwards and I started the UK’s first wind farm in Delabole on my 400-acre farm. When we started looking into it in 1988 we thought of having a small 10kW turbine to power the dairy, but a year later we decided we would give up dairying altogether.
The wind farm started generating in 1991, and it’s so satisfying to see just how far wind energy has come in the past 25 years.
I’m virtually retired now but my son Martin is a Director of Good Energy (which bought Delabole in 2002).