Cornwall’s first smart grid-connected wind project

Summary

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UK energy company Centrica has teamed up with Cornwall Council to develop a smart wind turbine that is grid-connected. The expectation is that it will power 1,100 homes while helping to cut carbon emissions by more than 2,800 tonnes a year over the next two decades.

The 2.3MW wind turbine is the first smart grid-connected turbine to be built in Cornwall. It is also part of the Cornwall Local Energy Market pilot which secured £11.5 million in funding from the EU.

As part of the pilot, Centrica has teamed up with Western Power Distribution, N-SIDE, Imperial College, the University of Exeter and National Grid. Since 2016, they have striven to accelerate renewable energy adoption. Cornwall Council now generates approximately 37 per cent of electricity from renewables, 6 per cent more than in 2009.

The energy produced from the wind turbine will be connected to an automated online flexible energy marketplace for consumers. The project will be owned by Cornwall Council and will be integrated with a 1MW battery energy storage system.

Edwina Hannaford, Cabinet Member for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “The 2.3MW of renewable energy to be generated from this new wind turbine will not only supply energy to the equivalent of more than 1,100 Cornish homes but also count towards Cornwall’s ambitious plans to be carbon neutral by 2030. In addition, it will be a testbed for our smart-grid concept and demonstrates how our Local Energy Market can make the best use of all renewable energies in Cornwall and help businesses as well. This initiative on Cornwall Council-owned land is part of a suite of initiatives including investment into the United Downs and Eden Project geothermal power projects.”

Dan Nicholls, LEM Programme Manager, Centrica, adds: “This partnership between Centrica and Cornwall Council is a great example of how the private and public sectors can work together to help tackle climate change.”

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