In late 2013/early 2014, Blue Energy began construction on the impressive 85 metre Wind Turbine, which has now become a landscape feature at the centre of the Forest of Marston Vale. Anywhere in quite a wide radius, you can now work out where the Millennium Country Park is (as the crow flies) whether the blades are spinning, or static. To see up to date statistics for monthly power generated (since September 2015), wind speed highs and equivalent homes powered, click here.
Watching the progress of the Turbine being built was pretty fascinating – from the groundwork, to the cranes going up, to the blades being hoisted into their final positions (with a few false starts, along the way) - click here to read the run down of our blog posts, as things were happening at the time.
For more detailed information about how the Turbine works, and the benefits of wind energy, click here to visit Blue Energy’s website, but here are a few facts:
- The wind speed varies constantly every day, and the range of speeds varies through the seasons. The turbine can capture energy from 2m/s to 35m/s (5mph to 80mph), but when there is no wind will continue to measure speed and direction until it can start up again. For example in the month of September 2015, 179,808 kWh was generated, but due to high winds in December 2015 it shot up to 767,425 kWh.
- It always moves around to face into the wind. Above 8mph it pitches the blades out of the wind as the forces on the machine would be too strong – this is why you may often see it facing a completely different direction one day to the next (you aren’t going mad!)
- The Turbine generates enough electricity for up to 1050 homes in a year, as well as powering the Forest Centre (alongside our photovoltaic panels.)