Swaffham farmer diversifies with installation of wind turbines

Swaffham farmer diversifies with installation of wind turbines

Swaffham farmer John Blackburne has installed a wind turbine on his North Pickenham farm as he diversifies from his traditional pig farming. Funding for the introduction of the wind turbine has been provided by his banking partner NatWest.

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01 November 2011

The move to producing energy through the installation of the turbine on the 13 acres farm will provide both cost savings and create additional revenue generation to Mr Blackburne. The energy produced will supply power to run the farm, and will also be sold to utility providers. Mr Blackburne will also stay true to his roots by continuing to rear pigs.

Renewable energy technologies are becoming increasingly attractive as economic uncertainty prompts businesses to become more efficient and sustainable. Wind turbines and solar panels are inexpensive to run once installed and offer long term benefits to running costs and the environment. The Energy Saving Trust estimate that 40% of all wind energy in Europe blows over the UK.

Speaking about the project, John Blackburne said: "Whilst we will never turn our backs on the tradition of pig farming here at Daleacres, we had to explore how we can generate more revenue. The wind turbine option will not only bring in money, it will also help save it. It also establishes a new legacy at the farm, renewing energy to help benefit both the farm and the local community."

Stuart Baxter, agriculture manager, business banking at NatWest arranged the funding: "John is not the first and he will certainly not be the last farmer to look towards renewable energy as the future of their operations. The bank has recognised this through the launch earlier this year of a £50 million renewable energy fund to support such projects."

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