On 5 November, GE announced it is providing two new wind farms in central England with more than 40 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity. GE has supplied the Chelveston Wind Farm with nine GE 2.85 MW wind turbines and will deliver nine GE 1.6 MW wind turbines to the Burton Wold wind farm extension in Kettering.
As a member of the European Union (EU), the U.K. is required to meet the EU 20/20 target of having 20 percent renewable energy generation by the year 2020. The Chelveston Wind Farm and the Burton Wold wind farm extension are located within 15 miles of each other and together, the more than 40 MW would be equivalent to the required energy needs of approximately 30,000 homes in the region. To date, GE has supplied or is under contract to supply more than 163.10 MWs of wind turbines to the U.K.
The Chelveston Wind Farm will provide 25.65 MW of power to the grid, which would be equivalent to the required energy needs of more than 18,000 homes in the region. GE already has supplied the nine 2.85-MW wind turbines to Wykes Engineering Ltd., one of the leading design, engineering and manufacturing companies. The wind farm was commissioned in September 2013 and entered full operation in October 2013. The Chelveston Wind Farm is part of the Chelveston Renewable Energy Park, which was formerly a Ministry of Defense bomber base throughout World War II and the Cold War and later a radio-mast transmitter site until 2005. The renewable energy park also consists of biomass plants, biofuel generators and solar photovoltaic arrays, which are currently being installed.
In a statement, Wykes Engineering Ltd. said: “The Chelveston Renewable Energy Park is committed to cleaner sources of energy and we chose GE’s efficient wind turbines due to the machines’ ability to capture more energy. When you combine the power to be generated by the wind turbines with the energy from the biomass plant and the bio-fueled generators, the facility will be able to provide an estimated annual 109,000 MWh of renewable electricity sufficient for 27,500 households and offsetting some 47,000 tons a year of CO2 emissions from power stations."
The Burton Wold wind farm extension will provide 14.4 MW of power, which would be equivalent to the required energy needs of more than 11,000 homes in the region. John Laing is the owner of the project, and the plans were developed by First Renewable Ltd. John Laing will build, own and operate the wind farm.
“GE’s 1.6-100 wind turbines are the right machines for the Burton Wold wind farm extension due to their ability to enhance energy efficiency," said Ross McArthur, managing director of renewable energy, John Laing. "This latest project is an exciting addition to the John Laing portfolio of investments in the onshore wind sector and is part of our commitment to deliver cleaner, renewable electricity to communities across the United Kingdom."
The developers and owners of both the Chelveston Wind Farm and the Burton Wold wind farm extension worked closely with local authorities and interested parties to ensure that the most efficient equipment solutions could be deployed and to bring the projects to fruition.
“The orders for wind turbines for both the Chelveston Wind Farm and Burton Wold wind farm extension not only underscore the rapid growth of wind energy in the United Kingdom, but also are indicative of GE's commitment to providing renewable energy in the region and throughout Europe," said Cliff Harris, general manager for GE's European renewable energy business. "Today’s announcements highlighted GE’s expanding presence in the United Kingdom."
GE also will support the Chelveston Wind Farm and the Burton Wold wind farm extension’s long-term availability through service and maintenance agreements, which include remote monitoring and local support. GE's wind service solutions increase turbine reliability and availability, reducing down turbine time and improving lifetime performance.
View a video on a GE project in the U.K.