The first of a new generation of farm-scale wind turbines has been installed on a farm at Liskeard in Cornwall by Wetherby-based farm turbine specialist Earthmill.
The first Endurance X29 to be installed on UK soil, and also the first to be built in the UK, was commissioned last week and is now generating power for Matthew Rowe’s Great Tredinnick dairy farm, up to 500,000 kWh per year, the equivalent of the power consumption of 150 homes.
Earthmill, one of the UK’s only specialist farm-scale wind turbine installers and suppliers, is also one of a handful of authorised suppliers that can install the Endurance X29 in the UK. The 225kW unit was built by Endurance Wind Power at its new factory in Hartlebury near Kidderminster.
Steve Milner, managing director of Earthmill said:
The X29 is relatively modest in size, requiring only a 30m mast which makes it a great option for farms with high power requirements.
The key to it’s improved performance is that it has a very efficient generator which operates at a low level resistance, allowing the turbine to start producing energy at a wind speed of just 4 metre per second, a really light breeze.
The financial benefits of wind turbines for farms are becoming widely known, with farmers turning to them as an additional source of revenue in the wake of a dramatic fall in income, coupled with rising energy costs.
Endurance’s investment in new manufacturing facilities is evidence of the boom in the farm wind market. The plant is creating up to 100 new green jobs and will eventually build 100 turbines a year.
New turbines need to be pre-registered with regulator Ofgem by 31st December 2013 and hundreds of farmers are now working to beat the end of year deadline and benefit from the maximum available revenues.
There are now over 500 planning applications being considered by councils across the UK and figures from the leading turbine suppliers show that over 200 farm scale turbines could be connected to the National Grid ahead of the looming energy regulator deadlines.
A report published last week by Renewable UK on the small and medium wind market shows that the industry doubled in size last year and the technology is injecting over £100m into the rural economy.
Endurance UK managing director Dave Rankin said:
The report shows the vital role that farm wind is playing in supporting the cash strapped rural economy, with 86 per cent of small-scale turbines installed in rural areas