UK energy company Centrica has started building a new wind turbine in Cornwall that will be connected to the smart grid.
The 2.3 megawatt (MW) turbine will power the equivalent of around 1,180 homes, generating enough renewable electricity to reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2,800 tonnes a year over the next two decades.
The first smart grid-connected turbine in Cornwall, it will form part of the Cornwall Local Energy Market (LEM) which aims to help increase the amount of renewable energy that can be deployed by managing the electricity network more efficiently.
Launched in December 2016, the LEM project is a collaboration between Centrica, Western Power Distribution, N-SIDE, Imperial College, the University of Exeter and National Grid. It is supported by £11.5m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
Through an automated online flexible energy marketplace, the LEM allows network operators to buy energy flexibility from local homes and businesses, helping to balance both grid demand and capacity.
“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,” said Edwina Hannaford, cabinet member for climate change and neighbourhoods. “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.”
Cornwall Council will own and operate the turbine, with Centrica responsible for constructing and commissioning the infrastructure that will connect the turbine to the grid and the LEM.
The turbine is expected to start operating this summer.