Small wind firm to build distributed wind farm in UK

A small wind power company is seeking to raise $25 million to build a distributed wind farm in the UK.

Small wind turbine manufacturer Orenda Energy Solutions, which is based in Canada and Scotland, said this week that it aims to install a total of 4.9 MW, with over 100 of its SKYE 49 kW turbines to be sited at locations across Britain.

Pre-qualified sites have already been identified, the company said, and it is now applying to US investment banks for project funding.  

Orenda says its turbines, designed for farm use, feature a patented 'tilt' mechanism to reduce maintenance costs and protect against damage from high winds. 

Gerry Lalonde, Orenda Energy Solutions CEO, said that the small wind market is still viable in the UK despite recent revisions to the feed-in tariff (FiT), especially within the sub-50 kW band, which offers the highest rates.

‘The announcement from the Department of Energy Climate Change (DECC) consultation to change the FiT system was not warmly received by the small wind industry overall,’ LaLonde added, ‘but we view it as an opportunity for Orenda as a result of a willingness to adapt our own technology.

‘We were able to modify the patent-pending control technology on our SKYE turbine to reduce the power output from a 51 kW turbine to 49 kW. This minor modification allows us to position our wind turbine at the top end of the most attractive band available in the UK for the current FiT system.’  

In February, medium-scale wind turbine maker Norvento said its technology was still a profitable one, and would ‘continue to provide considerable benefits to the UK farming and industrial communities for many years to come’ despite the FiT reductions.


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