Repowering Blyth Harbour Wind Farm

October 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

THE new wind turbine, a REPOWER 3.4MW 104 MW, which Hainsford Energy has built on the north bank of the River Blyth is no ordinary machine, but represents the latest chapter in the evolution of wind energy technology, in which Blyth companies play a leading role.

The far-sighted development of the original wind turbines along the East Pier was, almost literally, toe in the water to wind energy in the marine environment. The nine turbines plied their trade for 20 years converting the energy of our coastal winds to power in our homes.

The skills of the pioneers have grown into the deep knowledge of wind energy, which is now part of our industrial present and future and the catalyst to new industry in the Blyth Estuary.

Repowering of the Blyth Harbour Wind Farm has been long in the planning and Hainsford is proud to have built such a significant turbine, the most powerful onshore wind turbine in the UK, which shows we can generate huge amounts of green energy from our abundant wind.

T4, is the unromantic name for this new addition to the Hainsford family, but this hides the multitude of advances from its 20-year-old predecessors.

T4 produces 26% more electricity than all of the old turbines combined, enough power for 2,000 homes. It is staggering that this turbine alone produces 13% of the domestic electricity for the town of Blyth and with a further three turbines planned for the East Pier will collectively supply 52% of the town’s needs.

The key to this massive generation is the long rotor blades which give a diameter of sweep of 104 metres.

The technically minded will understand that this swept area determines the energy captured by the turbine, so the greater the diameter the greater the generation.

Building the turbine was not without its challenges … not least of which was building a foundation in a hole which would have flooded at every high tide, but for the dam which was also built.

The heavens opened in July just as the 350 tonnes of concrete was poured but the local supplier kept the wagons rolling when every road in Northumberland flooded.

Logistics had to be first rate due to the length of the loads and Alcan allowed temporary changes to their railway to bring in the largest mobile crane in the UK. This endeavour culminated with the lifting of the rotor which was watched by hundreds of people, who gasped as the three-pointed star moved from horizontal to vertical and met the nacelle with a display of skill on the part of the crane crew which was truly breathtaking.

T4 now steadily goes about its business on the north bank of the river Blyth and visitors are flocking to Blyth to see the turbine and meet the highly skilled companies and facilities in the town.

Copyright 2012 Newcastle Chronicle Journal Ltd.

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