Transforming the energy sector is part of Cornwall Council’s response to tackling the climate emergency and helping Cornwall become carbon neutral by 2030. Around 40% of Cornwall’s electricity comes from renewable sources, but we have pledged to work towards 100% clean energy in order to achieve our overall target.
This turbine is the first to be built in Cornwall since 2016 and the only one to have been installed in the South West in 2020. The 2.3MW turbine, with 40m rotor blades, has been constructed on land owned by Cornwall Council, adjacent to an existing 20MW wind farm on the A30.
The turbine is part of an EU-funded trial and forms part of Centrica's innovative Cornwall Local Energy Market (LEM), which helps to increase the amount of renewable energy that can be deployed by managing the electricity network more efficiently. The LEM project has been running since 2016, as a collaboration between Centrica, Western Power Distribution (WPD), N-SIDE, Imperial College, the University of Exeter and National Grid, and is receiving £11.5 million support from the European Regional Development Fund.
The Council has invested £3 million into the turbine that it owns, operates, and receives the income from. Centrica has contributed £1 million and was responsible for constructing and commissioning the infrastructure connecting the turbine to the grid and LEM.
More specifically, the Local Energy Market project brings Cornish homes and businesses together via a fully automated online flexible energy market platform. It allows network operators to improve the way the grid works by buying energy flexibility from local homes and businesses - helping to balance grid demand and capacity. It has also installed one of Cornwall’s largest battery storage units (1MW) on premises owned by Wave Hub (a company owned by Cornwall Council). Wave Hub owns the battery storage system which was constructed and is operated by Centrica.
The turbine is an important testbed for our smart-grid concept and demonstrates how a local energy market can make better use of renewable energy generated in Cornwall.
We are asking the Government to support the crucial upgrades to the South West electricity grid to increase capacity and enable Cornwall to generate 100% renewable electricity for Cornwall and help them deliver legally binding 2050 commitments.
Number of homes powered by green energy.