Cornwall will soon see more renewable energy injected into the grid with the development of a ‘smart-grid’ wind turbine, which it suggests could accelerate the region’s journey to carbon-neutrality.
The project, which is claimed to be ‘the first of its kind in the UK’, will make small adjustments to its output to support grid stability and make peaks in demand smoother.
The wind turbine, which is funded by the Cornwall Council with a £3 million investment and a £1 million contribution from Centrica, is expected to reduce Cornwall’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3,300 tonnes every year.
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, will also power more than 1,400 homes in Cornwall with renewable energy.
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.