A second-generation onshore wind farm gets lift off in England

First opened in 1991, the wind farm in Delabole, Cornwall consisted of ten 50 metre high turbines with an annual output of about 12 million KWh, enough to power approximately 2,700 average homes.

According to the wind farm owner, the redevelopment cost €14 million and the four new 100 metre high turbines have a total combined capacity of 9.2 MW, enough to supply around 7,000 homes with electricity.

Joining local residents and school children for the repowering celebrations was Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

“Delabole was the first commercial wind farm in the UK and, in its new form, it remains at the forefront of best practice,” said Huhne, adding a community fund will be making a direct contribution to projects in the local area.

“All too often, local communities can see the wind farms but not the windfall,” he said. “Wind is an abundant, clean, home-grown alternative to fossil fuels. It can’t be blown off course by instability abroad, and so it’s vital that we use it for our low carbon, energy security.”

Huhne said all UK citizens benefit in the long run from projects like the Delabole facility and it is crucial to help local residents experience the immediate benefits of hosting a wind farm.

According to annual statistics published by the European Wind Energy Association, the UK was fourth of 27 EU nations in terms of installed wind capacity last year. The 962 MW installed in 2010 brought the UK’s total installed capacity total to 5,204 MW.

By Chris Rose, blog.ewea.org