AS Hull holds its breath over an investment decision by Siemens, the UK’S first micro urban wind farm is already up and running in the city. The German engineering giant is being tipped to make an announcement early in the New Year giving long-awaited confirmation of proposals to open an offshore own turbine assembly facility at Alexandra Dock in east Hull.
Meanwhile, across the city onshore wind power is now being generated at a pilot site on Priory Park. The micro wind farm is a joint venture between Hull-based commercial design company Inter Tech and turbine manufacturers Quiet Revolution.
It features six new slim-line turbines which have been added to two existing ones on land next to Inter Tech’s office in Saltmarsh Court. Installed earlier this month, the new turbines have already proved their worth after running without any problems during the gale force winds which coincided with the recent North Sea tidal surge along the Humber.
Wind farm: Inter Tech owner Andrew Fenton, with Richard Moody of Quiet Revolution. Inset, some of the turbines.
Inter Tech owner Andrew Fenton, who has made his company’s office among the most energy-efficient in the city with a range of eco-friendly design features, said: “The new turbines are designed to operate in very high winds and they passed their first test with flying colours when we had the recent gale force winds. In those sort of conditions, conventional large turbines automatically shut down but ours kept running, generating tremendous amounts of power. As well as very high winds, the turbines have also been designed to run at very low wind speeds too.”
The project has been entirely private-funded and is already starting to attract interest from the UK and European energy sector as well as local councils and health trusts.
Mr Fenton said: “I am immensely proud of what we have managed to achieve here in Hull with this project but it has only been made possible with the support of our bank Handelsbanken and the team from Quiet Revolution. “I would also like to thank Hull City Council’s planning department for their help on what was not an easy project to get off the ground and Henry Boot Developments, the owners of Priory Park, for their proactive support.”
A spokesman for Quiet Revolution said: “As the Hull urban micro wind site suggests, the environment is in a really built-up area but because of the types and size of turbines used, they don’t look out of place and offer a sensible solution to energy reduction. The Hull site offers clients of all sizes the opportunity to see what a cluster of small turbines would look like as well as seeing different types on one site.
“The wind industry stirs emotion in all senses of the word, but here in the middle of a large city, Inter Tech have clearly shown that it can work well, while providing a reliable cheap source of energy.”
Energy from the wind turbines is being used to provide power to the Inter Tech office as well as being exported to the National Grid.