Annual wind power contribution in the Falkland Islands is set to rise to 40 per cent of total energy generated with the installation of three new wind turbines, which started going online on 15 February. The installation of the first three wind turbines in 2007 has resulted in the displacement of 26% of annual fuel consumption and the aim with the three new turbines is to reach 40% fuel displacement.
This figure compares favourably to the UK Government’s goal for 20 per cent of electricity produced in the UK to be renewable by 2020, proving the Islanders’ commitment to renewable energy. As well as reducing their carbon footprint in order to protect the pristine environment of the Islands, the increase in renewable energy has meant that the cost of electricity has been reduced by six pence per unit for Islanders.
The turbines arrived on the Ministry of Defence charter ship, Hurst Point, in September 2009. They are the same type and make as the first three turbines: 330 kilo-watt synchronous variable speed and variable pitch turbines manufactured by Enercon (Germany).
The turbines have been installed at Sand Bay Wind Farm, six miles from the Islands’ capital Stanley and approximately one kilometre across the valley from the first three turbines. The most significant impact of the three additional turbines will be the reduction in the amount of diesel used on the Islands, thereby reducing costs and minimising the environmental impact.
Phase Three of the development of the wind farm will be energy storage, achieved by charging a 2MWh battery during optimal wind times and discharging the battery when wind is not available. This will ensure that energy production is kept more constant.
Glenn Ross, Power Station Manager and a Member of the Government’s Legislative Assembly, said: “We are excited about the installation of the three new turbines as Phase One of the wind farm project has been very successful and a further significant step in wind power contribution is certain.”