Eneco CorporateNews & MediaNews & Press Eneco opens first UK wind farm Rotterdam, september 29th 2010 - Dutch renewable energy specialist Eneco today celebrates a significant first step into the UK m
Dutch renewable energy specialist Eneco today celebrates a significant first step into the UK market with the inauguration of its Tullo Wind Farm near Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire.The £26 million seven-turbine project has an effective capacity of 17 megawatts and is capable of generating sufficient green electricity to meet the average annual needs of around 9,000 homes. Local schoolgirl Amy Beattie, winner of a painting competition run by the company, will set the turbines turning at today’s inauguration ceremony where the guest of honour is Aberdeenshire’s Provost Bill Howatson.
Tullo Wind FarmEneco Wind UK is also planning the construction of a 17-turbine development at Lochluichart, north-west of Dingwall, in the Highlands. It has also has been awarded development rights for a potential 900 megawatt offshore wind project west of the Isle of Wight. Other projects are under consideration.“It is an exciting time for us,” said Eneco Wind UK Director Guy Madgwick. “We established the UK office in 2008 and have grown our team and build portfolio since then. Inauguration of the Tullo project puts us on the threshold of a period of potentially rapid growth in the UK. Our team is doing a great job and we are grateful also to the landowners and the construction team who have made the Tullo project a reality.”Tullo Wind Farm was originally granted planning permission by Aberdeenshire Council in July 2005. In November 2008, the permission was sold by West Coast Energy to Eneco Wind UK. Since then, the company has worked closely with the Barclay family who own and farm the land. Brian and Kenneth Barclay first considered wind energy as a diversification opportunity 10 years ago.The family will be amongst over 170 guests who will join Eneco at the site today to celebrate completion of the project. “We are delighted that the turbines are finally in place,” said Brian Barclay. “It has been a long process overall but Eneco has managed the construction stage very well and with minimal impact on our agricultural activities or on our local community. Farming can continue right up to the turbines and our roads are now all-weather. The turbines are just another part of the farm – but they don’t need feeding!”Construction took place in two planned phases from September 2009, with a two-month pause during the worst of the winter weather. Phase one involved the laying of access tracks, creation of a temporary construction compound and provision of a site entrance. From February this year, the development team has built a sub-station, installed underground cables, laid foundations and then erected the wind turbines which have now been successfully commissioned.Infrastructure for the wind farm has been built by North Wales civil engineers Jones Bros. The work has been managed by Natural Power Corporation. The turbines have been supplied and installed by Nordex which is based in Hamburg, Germany. The turbines will remain in-situ for 25 years, after which time they will be removed and the site restored, leaving no visible trace of the wind farm’s existence.Communities in the area have been closely consulted during the construction phase. Letters were delivered to homes throughout the area explaining the plans and a liaison committee has met regularly. The company has also run education sessions with local schools. A painting competition resulted in the turbines being named after seven local schoolchildren – and a £500 prize towards sports equipment for Laurencekirk Primary School.In addition, Eneco has initiated the Tullo Wind Farm Community Fund, which is being run by the community for the community and will distribute £17,000 each year. The fund is being managed by the Mearns Area Partnership, which is now inviting applications.
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Eneco Wind UK Ltd is a subsidiary of the Dutch utility Eneco BV which has over 5,000 employees and supplies electricity to two million business and domestic customers in the Netherlands. With Tullo, the group owns and operates 20 wind farms. The company aims by 2020, to supply 100 per cent of its electricity from sustainable sources or from the cleanest fossil fuels. The group is based in Rotterdam, with Eneco Wind UK operating from offices in Warwick.
- Construction of the Tullo Wind Farm involved 7,000 tonnes of locally sourced concrete for turbine foundations and 20,000 tonnes of local aggregate for roadways. With labour also sourced locally, the total local spend during construction amounts to some £1.3 million. The project has involved around 20,000 man hours to construct and has been achieved with an exemplary safety record.
- The seven Nordex N80 turbines are each 100 metres high to the tip. The blades each weight nine tonnes; the nacelles (structure that houses the gearbox and other) generating components weigh 95 tonnes and the hubs 22 tonnes.
- Amongst the environmental provisions was a habitat management plan designed to benefit wildlife. Areas of dense conifers’ were felled outside the bird breeding season and replanted with scrub woodland habitat – a total of 5,000 new native trees and shrubs.