The completion of a 28.6 MW wind farm in the Scottish Borders has taken the UK’s installed onshore capacity to a record 5 GW.
The 22-turbine Drone Hill wind farm owned by AES Wind Generation Ltd. is now fully operational and will produce enough electricity for some 14,700 homes.
“I’m delighted that the landmark of 5GW of onshore wind has been achieved,” says Maria McCaffery, chief executive of renewable trade body RenewableUK.
Moreover, the next onshore wind project to go live after reaching the milestone was a single-turbine community project in Gloucestershire.
Resilient Energy’s 500 kW Great Dunklins project has been entirely funded by local residents and individual investors contributing as little as £5. Co-operative Energy has signed up to buy the output from the turbine generating returns for investors and the local community.
According to McCaffery, onshore power provides an average value of £100,000 per megawatt installed to the local community.
“With the Great Dunklins project we’ve seen people demonstrating their support by choosing to invest in this key technology for the UK’s energy future,” she says.
Meanwhile, further afield, one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world has started operations in Oregon in the US Pacific Northwest.
The 845 MW Shepherds Flat wind farm operated by Caithness Energy will generate an estimated 2 billion kWh each year and give the state a $37 million economic boost.
The project was backed by GE Energy Financial Services, Google, Tyr Energy and Sumitomo Corporation of America, as well as the US Department of Energy’s loan guarantee programme.
For further information:
UK government calls for new ideas on onshore wind (20-Sept)
UK wind power sets new record high of 4 GW (14-Sept)
UK’s largest community-owned wind farm seeks go ahead (10-May)
24 September 2012