As part of a £150k investment to help eradicate fuel poverty amongst local residents, energy cooperative Care4Energy has installed five high yield Kingspan Wind turbines on the island of Westray, Orkney.

The new croft of 6kW Kingspan wind turbines were installed at neighbouring sites Breckowall and Quality Street by local cooperative Orkney Business Ring – Renewables. They are designed to produce more than 85,000kWh of renewable energy each year, which is being fed back into the grid to generate a new income stream from Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) payments as well as an Export tariff for surplus electricity sold back to the grid.

The new wind turbines are creating a net annual income of around £25,000 which is going straight towards helping the fuel poor on the island of Westray, funding a variety of energy saving and renewable energy measures for local residents’ homes, such as insulation, renewable heating and even energy surveys.

Engineer Colin Risbridger of Care4Energy, commented, “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to find a novel and positive way to use the high winds we experience in the area for the good of others. Kingspan Wind turbines were the perfect choice for this particular project.

“They have a strong, reliable track record and deliver maximum results even in fierce wind conditions. In fact, the turbines are out performing all expectations already. We were also particularly impressed with the ease of maintenance, and being on a remote island we can rest assured that we have a reliable, first class support service on the island from the team at the Orkney Business Ring.”

Erik Firth, manager at Orkney Business Ring added, “Being a community cooperative ourselves, we were particularly excited to be working with Care4Energy on such a worthwhile project. This is the first stand alone wind croft Orkney has ever seen and our team of accredited installers did a fantastic job in installing all five turbines within a week despite working in extremely wet and windy conditions. Our experts are now on hand to provide professional, fast response, local support when needed, so we can ensure continued optimum performance and a reliable income stream from the turbines.”

Aimed at rural domestic, small holdings and agricultural applications, the MCS certified Kingspan Wind KW6 turbines offer maximum energy capture due to their patented blade hinge design. The turbines’ blades pitch and cone to provide an over speed protection system, eliminating the need for brakes and ensuring uninterrupted operation even in the strongest winds.

With a downwind, self regulating design, the turbines automatically track the wind direction so there is no need for an active yaw control. Designed to class 1 with survival wind speeds of 54-70m/s, they also provide a Reference Annual Energy (RAE) of 8,949kWh at 5m/s (annual mean wind speed) and a five year product warranty as standard.

Local community organization, Energy Action Westray, secured funding from Leader, The Energy Saving Trust and Energy Efficiency Design Awards to set up energy cooperative Care4Energy. The aim was not only to find a solution to relieve fuel poverty on Westray island, but to contribute to its ambition of providing 100% of its energy requirements from Renewables by 2012. Kingspan Wind turbines were specified based on the leading MCS approved energy yield figures for the high wind speeds at the two sites matched with the service provided by the local professional team Orkney Business Ring Renewables.