UK ports demonstrate wind power potential

31 May 2013
SSE Renewables, in partnership with the UK Port of Tilbury, has developed a four turbine windfarm in that port

SSE Renewables, in partnership with the UK Port of Tilbury, has developed a four turbine windfarm in that port

The potential for UK ports and harbours to generate their own electricity through small scale wind power has been highlighted by wind developer e-Genas at the UK Harbour Masters’ Association’s recent meeting in Edinburgh.

e-Gen believes that many of the UK’s ports and harbours have the potential to be suitable sites for hosting sub <1MW wind turbines as they feature good wind speeds, a suitable distance from residential properties, and a lack of ecological and landscape constraints.

e-Gen estimates that if just half of the UK’s active freight ports installed a single 800kW turbine they could provide electricity equivalent to the annual demand from over 25,000 houses, while cutting carbon emissions equivalent to those produced by over 13,000 cars on UK roads each year.

The combined wind power capacity of nearly 46 MW would be equivalent to one of the UK’s larger onshore wind farms.

Tom Forsyth director of e-Gen said: “While ports and harbours are gearing up to benefit from the offshore renewables sector, the potential to generate clean electricity themselves remains largely untapped. There is a window of opportunity through financial support from the Feed-in Tariff for businesses to cut their energy costs, secure a 20 year guaranteed income stream and boost green business credentials from small scale wind projects.”

“In 2010 we secured £50m of investment to develop small scale wind projects in the UK and while uptake from farmers and landowners has been steady, there are still many other landowning businesses which have yet to explore the potential of wind power to maximise income from their assets.”

“Much focus has been placed by ports on new business to be gained from the offshore renewables sector, commented Peter Moth, Secretary of the UK Harbour Masters’ Association. “To turn this attention to generation of electricity within the port estate itself is a most interesting concept, especially at a time when harbours are looking to maximise their income earning potential. I suspect that e-Gen’s participation in our Edinburgh Seminar will create interest from ports large and small throughout the UK.”

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