Our wind energy
project started in 1989 when we erected a Vestas
V17 75 kW wind turbine. This turbine, named Moya
after the Sesotho word for 'wind and spirit', has
been extremely successful and reliable, providing
about 20% of the electricity needs of the Findhorn
Ecovillage. This initial phase was financially successful,
repaying the initial investment of £75,000
in approximately five years.
We have now erected three additional
second-hand Vestas V29 turbines ('The Three Graces'),
each capable of delivering 225kW and giving a total
installed capacity of 750 kW. With support from
the Scottish Community and Householder Renewable
Initiative our planning application was submitted
in June 2004, and we received a planning permit
in January 2005 after a public hearing. The expansion
undertaken by Findhorn Wind Park Ltd has cost £605,000.
The project investment came from NFD Ltd (which
operated the original turbine), Ekopia Ltd (our
development trust) and Caledonia Renewable Energy
Co-operative, which is part of the Energy4All group.
Construction was completed by DMH Blacksmiths of
Inverness in January 2006 and commissioning was
completed in the following March.
These additional turbines make us net exporters
of electricity. About 50% of the electricity produced
is used on-site via our private grid, and the remainder
is distributed to the main grid.
the potential for the production and use of hydrogen
fuel cells is something we are currently exploring.
In a recent study of the communit's current energy
consumption we found we are now using renewable
energy for about 28% of our needs. This takes into
account the element of hydro power in our current
mains supply as well as our own wind turbines' production,
the use of firewood for backup and primary heating,
and the elements of active and passive solar design
in new buildings. The balance still comes largely
from fossil fuels. Our goal is to continue to increase
the percentage of our ecovillage's energy
needs produced from renewable sources.