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Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank have a silver lining

Whilst recent storms have been wreaking havoc in many parts of the country with extreme rainfall, flooding and disruption, there has been a silver lining for onshore wind generators.

Whilst recent storms have been wreaking havoc in many parts of the country with extreme rainfall, flooding and disruption, there has been a silver lining for onshore wind generators.  In the words of Renewable UK:

            • Eleven percent of the UK’s electricity was generated by wind last year, up from 9.5% in 2014.
            • Wind provided enough electricity to meet the annual needs of more than 8.25 million homes, representing more than 30% of UK households, up from 6.7 million homes in 2014.
            • December 2015 set a new monthly record for wind generation, with wind supplying 17% of Britain’s electricity demand at a time of the year when it’s needed most. The previous monthly record of 14% was set in January 2015, another cold period of the year.
            • A new weekly record was also set in December, with wind providing 20% of the nation’s needs in the last week of the month, up from 19% in the second week of November.

Read Renewable UK's recent press release here.

Windflow’s fleet of turbines in the UK are situated at some of the most extreme wind speed sites in the Scottish Highlands and Islands (see our Projects page) so have seen the worst of this weather - or should that be the best of it? - and contributed to the record breaking output.  In the last few weeks they have seen several storms with winds of over 145 km/h (90 mph) with a maximum recorded gust of 200 km/h (125 mph)!  Fortunately the turbines are designed for a maximum of 252 km/h (157 mph) so they took it in stride.  The turbines have had several periods of generating at a constant rated output of 500 kilowatts for many days on end, producing 12 megawatt-hours (MWh) of clean, renewable energy in a 24 hour period and 60 MWh over 5 days.  Output could have been even higher were it not for a number of grid failures caused by high winds, and several periods with average wind speeds above 110 km/h (68 mph) - when even the Windflow 33-500 wind turbine has to shut down!

This performance demonstrates that the Windflow 33-500 turbine is ideally suited to generating high levels of output on higher wind speed sites.  Its independent certification to the IEC 61400-1 international standard and track record gives confidence to customers, their financiers and insurers that it has been designed, tested, and proven for these conditions. 

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