Wind turbine powers solar factory

In what is claimed to be a world first, a solar cell maker is to use wind power in its manufacturing process Cardiff-based G24 Innovations is to install a 120 […]

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By Kelvin Ross

In what is claimed to be a world first, a solar cell maker is to use wind power in its manufacturing process

Cardiff-based G24 Innovations is to install a 120 metre tall windmill provided by green energy company Ecotricity which could produce 5.9m units of electricity each year and save more than 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

G24i makes lightweight and flexible solar cells which are used to power laptops and smartphones. The company claims this is the first time in the world that green energy has been made on-site to produce products that also make renewable energy.

The windmill is Ecotricity’s first in Wales. Previously it has supplied turbines to Sainsbury’s, B&Q, Ford and Michelin. As the installation is under the feed-in-tariff scheme, any electricity generated and not used by the site can be put back into the grid.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince added: “We’re chuffed to be building this windmill. It’s not just a world first: it’s a small glimpse of the future and for me, at least, a very exciting one. The idea that we can harness renewable energy and use that to make devices that themselves harness more renewable energy… it’s almost perpetual motion.”

G24i co-founder Robert Hertzberg said: “Installing a wind turbine on our factory site and securing power from renewable wind energy is just another step in our innovative approach in developing a world class green technology company.”