Farm-scale wind energy in the UK has been given a boost by Canadian wind turbine manufacturer Endurance Wind Power Inc. Endurance has retained Fine Energy Ltd, a West-Midlands based renewable energy developer, to acquire and develop sites for its medium-scale wind turbine, a quiet and visually attractive machine designed to fit sympathetically into the landscape.
To carry out the additional work that will be required under the Endurance contract, Fine Energy has increased the size of its administration and GIS teams, and is currently searching for experienced site assessors familiar with the factors that determine whether a site is suitable for the deployment of one or more medium-scale wind turbines.
Landowners looking for the opportunity to enter the wind energy marketplace can rent out small parcels of their land to Fine Energy while continuing to use their property without interruption. Potential sites include farms, industrial estates and other brownfield spaces.
In addition to receiving a rental income, landowners may also be able to benefit from the opportunity to use the electricity generated on their premises, at a discount to the retail electricity price. In all cases, the energy generated by medium-scale turbines like the Endurance is used locally, as it is fed into the local electricity distribution network. This ‘distributed energy’ approach, as it is known, is the electricity industry’s version of sourcing food from local farms.
Not every site will generate sufficient levels of wind to justify the installation of a wind turbine, but Fine Energy has access to 25 years’ worth of proprietary wind data, allowing a more accurate assessment of a site’s wind energy potential than is possible from public domain sources.
Endurance’s decision to invest in the UK market shows that, despite recently proposed cuts to the solar feed-in tariff, the government’s backing of renewables is successfully driving inward investment and creating jobs.
The UK is officially the windiest country in Europe and wind has been the fastest growing renewable energy resource for the last seven years. The UK government is committed to the EU’s “20% by 2020” renewable energy target, which means generating 30% of our electricity from renewable sources.