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An introduction to community wind power

Posted by Graham Eastwick on 21 July 2010 at 9:37 am

The feed-in tariff has certainly had an impact on this industry and kept us busy over the last months, so it's been a while since I have blogged on this website. A number of people have asked about setting up a community wind turbine.

A number of community wind farms have been set up using large wind turbines. One of the first projects was in Cumbria and is run by Baywind. They have set up an organisation Energy 4 All that has helped set up a number of other projects. 

Smaller turbines in the range 6 to 20 kW are typically installed close to a building to make the electrical connection simple. Ideally a community building can be identified and they will benefit from the free electricty and the community owners can benefit from the feed in tariff  for 20 years.

There are a variety of choices you can make as to the ownership ranging from the co-operative model to a community interest company.

There are a number of useful documents are available on the web that will help you explore the options in much more detail, two in particular are worth pointing out:

Delivering community benefits from wind energy: A toolkit:

and the rather older document revised in 2000 but still containing much useful information

Community Involvement in renewable energy projects  (this downloads a document onto your computer).

These should give you a good start as you plan your project.

Photo by rural learning center

About the author: Graham Eastwick is a director of Encraft, and manages renewable energy installations for home owners, community organisations and small businesses across the UK.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

4 comments - read them below or add one

Jones2011

Jones2011Comment left on: 16 September 2011 at 8:36 am

In my community, wind energy is used and stored when electric cars are being charged at night. This is a clever way to store wind energy in the night when most consumers are not using.. Read more about elbiler .

Jones working at Better Place Danmark

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schevchenkosan

schevchenkosanComment left on: 13 August 2010 at 10:58 am

Community wind turbines are a great idea - but for those of us who live in an urban environment, probably not doable. I get my electricity from Southern Electric, who I believe use renewables more than other providers. But it's not quite the same as having your own turbine.

But for those of us who live in flats in cities, micro-renewables could be the way forward, say sharing photovoltaics among each stairwell. 

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 30 July 2010 at 11:42 am

Hi 

I'd recommend that you measure the wind before you install, rather than use an average figure from the wind database. There's huge variation from the average because it's measured over a square kilometer (or maybe mile). Read this blog for more info: http://www.yougen.co.uk/blog-entry/1351/Measure+the+wind+before+you+install+a+turbine/

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rippa700

rippa700Comment left on: 22 July 2010 at 10:50 am

Hi - we have selected a Gaia 11Kw wind turbine and now have planning consent to install. The only independent tests I can find are US based. Are there any other figures to give me a reliable estimate of what it will generate. We have annual av wind of 5ms at 10 metres adjusted and the Gaiai is at 18m. Just trying to be sure on numbers before committing..

 

                                                                                         

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