In an effort to meet the environmental and energy targets of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Army, the Duke of York’s Royal Military School was selected to house the first ‘grid-connected’ wind turbine on MoD owned land. Located on the South East coast, the school is an independent boarding school for the 11-18 year old sons and daughters of Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force serving personnel and is an active member of the ‘Eco Schools’ programme.
E.ON was chosen to supply and install the turbine as part of an MoD target to reduce carbon emissions and obtain 10% of its electricity from renewable sources.
The 15-metre, three-bladed wind turbine is connected through to the school estate’s office where real-time data is collected and can then be accessed by staff and pupils via the school’s intranet.
- 202,000 kWh's of clean 'green' energy is expected to be generated over its 20 year life span
- Carbon Dioxide emissions will be reduced by 114.74 Tonnes over its 20 year life span
- Strong links to the school's curriculum providing valuable educational opportunities
- Real time data is collected from the wind turbine which can then be accessed by staff via the school's intranet
- School pupils can access the E.ON educational pack via the intranet as well as electricity generation and CO2 data from the turbine which can be used for coursework.
How it works
The wind turbine is designed to capture wind energy and produce electricity from wind speeds ranging from 3 m/s to 60 m/s. For those without a background in meteorology this is equivalent to a light breeze and a violent storm. The electricity connection is into the School Estate’s office and this is where the system becomes ‘grid-connected’.
Faced with the need to meet environmental and energy targets, work began to investigate the potential for developing wind energy on MoD land:
- MoD targets to reduce carbon emissions under the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) framework
- Land Forces Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP) targets to obtain 10% of its electricity from renewable sources
- Army Utilities Directive includes a specific target to generate a percentage of its electricity from renewable sources.
Back in January 2008, research began to find a suitable location to install the wind turbine. It was fundamental that the site was windy, exposed and away from obstructions such as trees and buildings. The position had to cause minimal noise and visual impact as well as be close to an electrical ‘grid’ connection to ensure planning permission would be granted. The Defence Estates Safeguarding team also needed to ensure that the turbine wouldn’t adversely affect aviation interests, including radar interference.
In October 2009, having agreed that the Duke of York’s Royal Military School was an ideal location and gained the necessary funding, the 15 metre three bladed wind turbine was given the official ‘go-head’ by the Dover District Council with E.ON as the agreed supplier. After taking two years to plan, it took just two weeks to physically install the wind turbine in March 2010.
Considered to be ‘best in class’, the wind turbine has excellent mechanical, electrical and safety credentials and has a lifespan of 20 years with minimal maintenance requirements. With strong links to the school’s curriculum, the wind turbine will allow students and staff alike to learn about carbon reduction technologies and renewable energy.
- Adjusted mead annual wind speed: 5.6 m/s
- Estimated annual energy yield based on adjusted wind speed: 10.1 mWh
- Estimated CO2 reductions are based on the adjusted estimated annual energy yield: 5.737 tonnes CO2 per year.