ScottishPower Renewables’ (SPR) has officially opened its £20 million project to upgrade and repower Carland Cross Windfarm in Cornwall. The site was SPR’s first operational windfarm in the UK when it came online in 1992, and it now becomes the company’s first repowered project in the UK.
Carland Cross was one of the first windfarms to be built anywhere in the UK when it became operational in 1992. The project consisted of 15 Vestas turbines, each with a capacity of 400 kilowatts (kW). The ten replacement Gamesa turbines that have been installed by SPR are five times more powerful than their original counterparts, with a capacity of 2,000kW (2 Megawatts) each.
The official opening was overseen by ScottishPower Renewables’ CEO Keith Anderson, and guests included local councillors and officials, as well as management teams from the company’s main contractors Balfour Beatty and Gamesa. First power was achieved in March this year, all of the new turbines were fully installed by the end of July, and the site became fully operational in August.
Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Renewables CEO, said:
“Carland Cross was the very first windfarm in our operational portfolio, and we have grown from this single project to become one of the largest developers and generators of wind power in the UK. Our parent company Iberdrola is the largest wind power company in the world, and this is the first repowering of any of our projects across the globe. It is a major engineering achievement to have completed the project on schedule - only a very small number of similar projects have ever been undertaken. Credit goes to everyone in the project teams at ScottishPower Renewables, Balfour Beatty and Gamesa for delivering the project successfully.
“Cornwall was a UK pioneer in embracing renewable energy and developing wind power projects on a commercial scale. Carland Cross alone has produced enough electricity to meet the demand of 3,300 homes every year since 1992 and the new project should meet the demands of around 12,000 homes per year. It is a very well located site with good wind speeds, good access and grid connection and I am delighted that Carland Cross will remain an important part of our company’s operations for decades to come.”
Data from the original site shows that it generated 280,518 Megawatt Hours (MWh) of electricity during its 20 year operational life - enough to power the average electricity usage of around 3,300 homes every year. The average capacity factor over the windfarm’s operational life was 27.24% - higher the current industry average of 26.4% for onshore wind* (*an average of all UK onshore windfarms over a 5 year period, up to and including 2011).
As well as supporting over 100 jobs in construction, the windfarm will now be managed by a full-time site supervisor, plus 5 technicians.
Beyond that, the site will support a range of other services over the 25 year lifetime, including:
HV electrical network providers
Civil contractors to support building/road maintenance
Specialist turbine technical resources
ScottishPower Renewables project management team resources
Environmental/Ecological monitoring resources
Media Information: Paul Ferguson, ScottishPower Renewables: 0141 614 4535