Gaia-Wind Ltd.

Arable farm in Cornwall

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Courtesy of Gaia-Wind Ltd.

With large quantities of wind, the owner of this arable farm in England exploits the opportunities to produce his own energy and sell surplus back to the grid.

Project cost: £62,000 - Estimated payback time: 6-7 years - Best monthly production: 3616 kWh

Background
This turbine site is a 100 acre farm for grass that is sold into the dairy supply chain. The farm is situated at a high spot in Delabole, where prevailing winds come in from the south, and the Atlantic wind whips in from the north Cornwall coast.

With large quantities of wind, the owner was keen to exploit the opportunities to produce his own energy and sell any surplus back to the grid.

The owner, began researching wind turbines in the mid-nineties, but was frustrated by the technology that was on the market. It was only when the Gaia-Wind 133-11kW turbine became available that he engaged Myriad CEG’s specialist wind turbine business to commission the project.

Production and payback
Fortunately, the site feasibility study and planning process were uncomplicated, and the installation progressed rapidly in 2009 through to full commissioning on 29 October 2009. At the time, renewable obligation certificates were in use, paying approximately £49 for every 1000 kWh.

ROCs have now been replaced by FITS. The scheme is more generous, meaning that the project payback period is faster.

During the first full year of operation, the turbine produced over 27,000kWh. In the financial year ending 31st March 2011, it produced about a fifth less – 22,580 kWh – due to the light winds and cold conditions that lay across the south-west over the winter months. Nevertheless, the owner exported 12,207 units and saved 10,000 units of electricity. He estimates that this represented a return on investment of £8000 for the year.

With the project, including ground works, installation, the connection of his main domestic residence and two holiday cottages to the grid - costing £62,000 - he calculates that the payback will be 6-7 years. May 2011 has been his best month ever for producing energy thanks to the high winds across the region.

'When I became convinced that wind turbines were the solution to saving electricity costs at the farm I investigated all manner of products and suppliers. In hindsight, the industry was still in its infancy and it was not until the Gaia-Wind 133-11kW turbine came into view that I found a solution and a company that I was convinced had the wherewithal to deliver.' Turbine owner

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