After reducing the energy demand of the houses significantly through insulation and the harvesting of passive solar energy, one option to offset the remaining energy consumption was to introduce on-site generation. We’re taking a different approach however, and investing in off-site generation.
Each house will have £1,500 of shares in a local community wind turbine project (in reality the house doesn’t have the shares, but the social landlord, Newark and Sherwood Homes (NSH) does). This investment is predicted to generate about 2,500kWh of electricity per year, effectively offsetting the equivalent consumption in the homes. NSH get an annual return on that investment, and no maintenance headaches of on-site renewables; and the tenant doesn’t get technology that they don’t understand and/or cannot operate.
And financially it stacks up too. Consider if we’d put solar panels on the roof (if we’d had the luxury of a south-facing roof). A 1kWp array (occupying around 10sqm of roof space) would have set us back about £6,000 and generated around 800kWh per year. Yet for a quarter of that cost we get in excess of 3 times the output, and none of the hassle of maintaining/operating it.
Today was the official opening (by Alan Simpson MP) of the community wind turbine at the nearby village of Hockerton. The houses couldn’t be there, but we went along for them and recorded the video below.
Our partner Sustainable HOCKerton (SHOCK) has been busy progressingthe installation of a community wind turbine in the village.
The turbine was delivered from INEOS to the site in Hockerton on 21st October. On the 28thOctober they installed the tower, nacelle and rota having had the grid and meters installed earlier that week. Simon Tilley from HHP was there in a supporting role as well as several volunteers from local investors. Now they are in the process of commissioning the machine which will be complete in 3 to 4 weeks.
The financing of the turbine is nearly complete. We have been delighted at the number of people wishing to support the project and have very nearly reached the provisional working target.
Finally we wish SHL well in completing the commissioning in the next few weeks and starting production of large amounts of renewable energy!
Sustainable Hockerton (SHOCK), a group of residents from the village of Hockerton, are celebrating the planning approval for the installation of a 225kW wind turbine within parish.
Since July 2006 residents of the parish of Hockerton have been meeting regularly to discuss becoming a zero carbon village.
The key objective of SHOCK is to try to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide production. A key first step was to develop a proposal to erect a community owned wind turbine, to generate clean electricity and use any profits to promote other objectives.
Care was taken to ensure that any area being considered was at least 500m from any property (well in excess of Government guidelines). A site about 1km from the next nearest village and sympathetically sited away from the neighbouring parish boundary was agreed as the location for the wind turbine.
A vote was conducted in February 2007 with about a quarter of the village residents responding of which 28 supported the idea and four were against. The majority of those in favour were also interested in financially investing in the wind turbine. It was therefore agreed to develop the proposal further towards a full planning application.
The objective of the wind turbine is to generate the equivalent amount of clean electricity that the homes use in the Hockerton parish.
B&Q’s launch of £1500 roof-mounted wind turbines in 107 stores nationwide & online, has really caught the imagination of the media and general public.
Locally, HHP was invited on the 4th October to join Paul Johnson from B&Q in a live discussion on Radio Nottingham about this subject. Although we are concerned about the performance of such wind turbines and the manufacturers’ claims about energy production (click here for further information about HHP views and see an interesting article in the Observer ), we were pleased to hear from Paul that they were taking a very responsible approach. Each customer that applies for an installation will have a structural survey to ensure building integrity and assistance to apply for Government funding of approximately £500 and a condition of the funding is that the household must improve the energy efficiency of their homes. B&Q will also assess the viability of the wind turbines by considering how windy the area is.
Iskra (a locally based manufacturer) has been very busy in Nottinghamshire this year installing their new wind turbine, including two in Rushcliffe Country Park and one at HHP. At HHP, the 26m tower was raised first, and the turbine was added a few weeks afterwards.
The HHP decided to install the wind turbine in order to meet the ‘Zero CO2’ requirements of the new community building and planning permission was granted earlier this year for a 5kW rated turbine.
This December the 2nd wind turbine at HHP has begun generating green energy. It is estimated to produce 12,000kWhrs per annum.