Devon installer scoops turbine contract

A Devon renewable energy installer has secured a deal to be the prime installer of medium-scale wind turbines in the south west of England, in a move that looks set to see a dramatic increase in the number of community-based wind turbines in the area.

Source Renewable, from South Molton, Devon, has secured the deal with national wind specialists ICE Renewables – the sole distributor of Vergnet medium-scale turbines in the UK. Source will work alongside ICE throughout the process of installing the community-scale wind turbines including site survey, design work, ground works, installing the system, project management and completing the grid connection.

“This is exciting news not only for us, but also for landowners and communities in the south west of England,” said Laurie Eve, director of Source Renewable.  “Until now there has only ever been the possibility for ICE to use national contractors, which can be costly.  This deal means that landowners and communities will now be able to deal  with us throughout the whole process, making it simpler, less expensive, and altogether a better experience for them.“

“Despite many communities being interested in wind power to provide them with free clean energy, there has previously been little in terms of available practical solutions for them, while many have felt that what is on offer is either too big or too small,“ added Eve.  “However, the Vergnet turbines that we’ll be installing will avoid this issue as they range from 32m to 55m tall.  This means they are significantly lower in height than many larger solutions, but still provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 150 houses.”

While there have been a number of large-scale wind farms built in the south west in recent years – including the 66 MW one at Fullabrook, Devon, and a 12 MW repower at Goonhilly in Cornwall – currently there are only a small number of turbines between 100 kW and 500 kW in the whole of the south west (source: Regen SW 2011 Annual Progress Report).

Laurence Duncan, commercial director of ICE Renewables, said: “We are looking forward to working closely with Source Renewable on what is a huge opportunity for landowners and communities in the South West.  Despite having the best natural wind resource in the UK the West Country has so far failed to fully capitalise on it. I am confident that working alongside such a credible local company with an impeccable pedigree in renewable energy installation we can help more landowners realise the benefits.”

As well as providing free sustainable energy, the Vergnet turbines also qualify for generous Feed-in Tariff payments of 17.5 pence per kWh and can offer returns on investment of up to 25 per cent per annum for 20 years. In addition they are designed to withstand up to category 5 hurricane winds.