Work has begun to install a single wind turbine at Anglian Water’s Sewage Treatment Works in March, Cambridgeshire.
The wind turbine, which will stand almost 100m high when completed, will generate enough electricity to power approximately 1,000 homes, and will reduce Anglian Water’s carbon emission by approximately 2,300 tonnes annually. The installation will be 64 metres high to its hub, with three rotor blades each 35.5m long.
Once constructed, the turbine will stand at the same height as the nearby installation at Stags Holt.
Although much of the energy generated will be used to power the sewage treatment works, surplus power will be supplied to the local electricity grid operated by Distributed Power Networks.
March was selected as a suitable location for a turbine because it has good wind speed conditions, with an average wind speed of approximately 6.7 metres per second. It is estimated that the turbine will generate in the region of around 4,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year. Planning consent was granted for the installation in 2009.
Construction of the single turbine will begin with the installation of 15 metre diameter concrete foundations, and with the laying of an electricity cable to connect the turbine to the local grid. The cable will run along Creek Road, joining the substation at the junction with Estover Road. While most of the cable will be laid in the verge alongside the road, the highway will be closed for short periods of time when the cable is laid across the road, or when narrow sections are reached. Cable laying will begin on June 25th.
It will take about four months to complete the project, with the blades for the turbine due to be delivered at the end of July. Local residents will be informed about any road closures or diversions that are required for delivery, although it is expected disruption will be kept to a minimum.
Richard Peverell, Anglian Water’s Estates Manager, said: “Energy costs account for roughly 11% of all of Anglian Water’s expenditure, and the costs of energy are constantly rising. We’re keen to explore any project that reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, and that can help us offset the impact of constantly rising energy costs on our customer’s bills.
“Currently, we generate around 5% of the energy we need from renewable sources, and we have plans to significantly increase this. Last year, we generated around 46 gigawatt hours of renewable energy, which is enough to power around 11,500 homes for an entire year. Our target is to roughly double that by 2015.
“In the east of England, a changing climate is one of the greatest challenges we face. We’re focussed on reducing our carbon emissions, and this scheme is one of several projects that will help us achieve this.
Anglian Water is working with ASC Renewables to assist in the delivery of the wind project at March. David Byrne, Managing Director at ASC Renewables, said: “We are delighted to be working with Anglian Water on what will be the water company’s first wind development. The project reflects our ethos of generating sustainable energy without compromise. Both Anglian Water and ASC are committed to keeping the local community informed and would welcome any feedback on the scheme.”
There are a number of wind developments in the surrounding area, including three within 3km of the March site, at Stags Holt, Coldham and Longhill. Additional development is also underway at Coldham. The new turbine at March Sewage Treatment Works will be the same height as these existing turbines.