DORSET’S future wind farm has set an autumn 2022 date of completion after four large turbines were transported to the site near Wareham.

Four Vestas 2MW turbines have been secured for the Alaska Wind Farm project in Purbeck which is expected to generate enough zero-carbon electricity to meet the annual demand of more than 5,000 homes.

The 8-megawatt wind farm, which gained planning permission in 2012, is to be built at the operational sand and gravel extraction site Masters Quarry in East Stoke and will have a 25-year life span.

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Developers say the construction stage will provide considerable employment opportunities for the region’s construction industry.

However the project has not been without controversy. In 2011, an initial application was refused by the then Purbeck District Council. At the time, the planning board said developers “could not satisfactorily mitigate the impacts” of the development.

The project even made its way to the High Court when, in 2013, campaigners of the Dorset Against Rural Turbines group won the right to challenge a High Court decision backing the scheme.

The legal challenge failed in April 2014, allowing the project to continue.

Alaska Wind Farm is a joint venture between Wimborne-based renewable energy company Infinergy and the Holme Estate.

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Infinergy CEO Esbjorn Wilmar said: “We are delighted to see this important project move forward. Over the years, various challenges had to be overcome, such as the brownfield site’s technical constraints and the government’s changes to the market support system for renewable energy.

“We are proud to build Dorset’s first wind farm, supplying a substantial amount of green power to the local network and contributing to Dorset’s renewable energy targets.

“As COP26 emphasised earlier this month, tackling man-made climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. We cannot afford to delay further and it is vital that everyone does their bit.

He added: “As a county, Dorset has been lagging behind in renewable energy generation. Alaska Wind Farm is a step in the right direction, making a real contribution at the local level.”

The turbine towers will be stored on site until further works commence from early 2022. Turbine installation is expected to take place in the summer, with the wind farm fully operational by autumn 2022.