Cornwall Council switches on first smart-grid wind turbine to power more than 1,400 homes with renewables

This turbine claims to be the first of its kind in the UK and is able to make small adjustments to the output in order to support the grid’s stability

More than 1,400 homes in Cornwall will be powered with renewables in September thanks to the switching-on of a new wind turbine connected to the grid.

The project, which is the first to be built in Cornwall since 2016 and the only turbine to have been installed in the South West this year, is estimated to reduce Cornwall’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3,300 tonnes every year. 

This turbine is claimed to be ‘the first in the UK’ to make small adjustments to output to support grid stability and make peaks in demand smoother.

Cornwall Council has invested £3 million in the wind turbine and will own and operate it once constructed, while Centrica has contributed £1 million in funding to the project and is responsible for constructing and commissioning the infrastructure that will connect the turbine to the grid. 

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Economy and Planning, said: “Despite challenges posed by the lockdown we have managed to keep the construction of our first smart-grid wind turbine on schedule and we look forward to it starting to supply renewable energy in excess of 1,400 Cornish homes per annum from September.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, said:  “As we work on our Covid-19 recovery we are placing the climate emergency at the heart of our plans and the 2.3MW of renewable energy to be generated at Ventonteague  will count towards Cornwall’s ambitious plans to be carbon-neutral by 2030.”

Currently, Cornwall generates around 37% of electricity from renewables, up from around 6% in 2009.

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