Medium-scale wind turbine manufacturer, Norvento, has successfully completed four new development sites in the last three months, with the fourth set to go live in early November. This intensive period of construction has resulted in a significant addition to Norvento’s growing UK fleet of nED100 100kW wind turbines, as the firm looks to overcome financial and planning challenges in the UK market.
With the expiration of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) pre-accreditation process at the beginning of this month, in conjunction with a further tariff degression, UK FiT-scale onshore wind faces a number of challenges. Yet Spanish manufacturer Norvento has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the UK FiT wind market with the completion of these four sites, as well as an ambitious 9-turbine construction pipeline.
Behind Norvento’s recent growth is the unmatched reliability and efficiency of its nED100 turbine, in conjunction with the firm’s low-risk development model and a rigorous approach to site selection.
While increasingly stringent planning rules and ongoing issues relating to grid connection have in some cases hampered small and medium wind development, the leading technology of Norvento’s low-noise, compact, direct-drive nED100 turbine means that its visual, noise and grid impacts are amongst the smallest in the industry. nED100 is the only 100kW turbine on the market to have achieved IEC 61400-1 design certification, underscoring these credentials.
In addition, Norvento offers a development model that benefits manufacturer and landowner alike. Two of the four recently completed farm sites have been developed by Norvento itself and involve a 20-year rental agreement with the farmer who owns the land, allowing them to generate a long-term income as well as the opportunity to benefit from the energy being produced by the turbines. The other two turbines have been sold to a developer. All four turbines will be serviced and operated by Norvento.
In light of challenging market conditions, site selection is all-important. The four sites – comprising three Scottish projects at Braco Castle Farm in Perth and Kinross, Blackburn Rigg in the Scottish Borders and Pomathorn Farm in Midlothian, and one Welsh site at Hillmoor Farm in Haverfordwest – were chosen on the basis of exceptional predicted wind resources. Norvento’s Hilmoor Farm site, for example, boasts an average wind speed of 7m/s. nED100’s recently extended 24-metre rotor will allow all of these turbines to make the most of these high wind speeds.
“Despite significant challenges within the UK’s renewable energy sector, it remains a viable medium-wind energy market,” said Ivo Arnús, Director of UK Business Development, Norvento. “Norvento’s turbines should still yield good returns as long as sites have suitable wind speeds and on-site consumption rates”
“What we are demonstrating with these recent projects is that we still view the UK as a strategic market; a market where we can develop our turbine fleet, despite the financial challenges ahead.”
Three years ago, Norvento set up a strategy for sustainable growth which has continued to produce positive results for the company. Its turbines were designed specifically for UK wind and grid conditions, and this accounts for growing interest from customers and distributors across the country. The competitive advantages of the firm’s product leave it very well placed to continue the growth it has witnessed so far in the UK.
Having erected its first UK turbine in January 2014, Norvento now has 9 turbines on British soil. In November 2014 nED100 set a new generation record, producing 2177 kWh in a single 24-hour period. In January 2015, an extended 24-metre rotor was developed for the turbine, capable of increasing the Annual Energy Production (AEP) of the 100kW machine by 8% on average.