ScottishPower Renewables’ (SPR) £20 million project to upgrade and repower Carland Cross Windfarm in Cornwall reached an important milestone this week, as the last of the original 15 wind turbines was dismantled by engineers.
Carland Cross was one of the UK’s first windfarms when it became operational in 1992. Utilising some of the earliest commercial wind power technology available, the windfarm was made up of 15 Vestas turbines, each with a capacity of 400 kilowatts (kW). The ten replacement turbines being installed by SPR are five times more powerful than their original counterparts, with a capacity of 2,000kW (2 Megawatts) each.
Data from the original site shows that it generated 280,518 Megawatt Hours (MWh) of electricity during its 20 year operational life – enough to power the average electricity usage of around 3,300 homes every year. The average capacity factor over the windfarm’s operational life was 27.24% - higher the current industry average of 26.4% for onshore wind* (*an average of all UK onshore windfarms over a 5 year period, up to and including 2011).
Simon Christian, UK Managing Director at ScottishPower Renewables, said:
“As our oldest operational site in the UK, it is sad to see the final turbines from the original windfarm being decommissioned. As the first generation of commercial turbines, they have proven to be extremely reliable and the site has performed exceptionally well for two decades, even in its mature operational years. Since 1992 Carland Cross has generated enough clean green electricity to power the equivalent of around 3,300 homes each year, displacing 8,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
“The success of the original windfarm is due in large part to the selection of the site. We knew Carland Cross was a good location, with consistent wind speeds and good access. We are pleased to be developing a new project on this site, and we are confident that Carland Cross will continue to make a valuable contribution to renewable electricity generation in Cornwall for decades to come.”
Planning permission to repower the Carland Cross Windfarm, in Cornwall, was granted in January 2010. ScottishPower Renewables is replacing the existing 15 wind turbines with ten modern wind turbines capable of generating 20MW of electricity - enough to power the annual needs of more than 12,000 homes, and over three times more than the current capacity of 6MW.
It is anticipated that all ten of the new turbines will be fully operational by July this year. Currently nine of the new turbines have been installed, with five in full operation. Work to install the last of the new turbines will happen this week (w/c 3rd June). The first power to be generated from the new turbines to the national grid happened in March this year.
In total up to 100 people have worked on or been involved on this project, which is one of only a few repowering projects ever to be undertaken in Britain. Cornwall was a pioneer in the development of the wind energy industry in the UK during the early 90’s and it is also leading the way again in terms of repowering projects in the UK.
Media Information: ScottishPower Press Office, 0141 614 4660