Renewable Energy to Supply 40% of Falklands Power
Islands expected to generate twice as much renewable energy as UK
17 February 2010
Annual wind power contribution in the Falkland Islands is set to rise to 40 per cent of total energy generated with the installation of three new wind turbines, which started going online on 15 February. The installation of the first three wind turbines in 2007 has resulted in the displacement of 26% of annual fuel consumption and the aim with the three new turbines is to reach 40% fuel displacement.
This figure compares favourably to the UK Government's goal for 20 per cent of electricity produced in the UK to be renewable by 2020, proving the Islanders’ commitment to renewable energy. As well as reducing their carbon footprint in order to protect the pristine environment of the Islands, the increase in renewable energy has meant that the cost of electricity has been reduced by six pence per unit for Islanders.
The turbines arrived on the Ministry of Defence charter ship, Hurst Point, in September 2009. They are the same type and make as the first three turbines: 330 kilo-watt synchronous variable speed and variable pitch turbines manufactured by Enercon (Germany).
The turbines have been installed at Sand Bay Wind Farm, six miles from the Islands’ capital Stanley and approximately one kilometre across the valley from the first three turbines. The most significant impact of the three additional turbines will be the reduction in the amount of diesel used on the Islands, thereby reducing costs and minimising the environmental impact.
Phase Three of the development of the wind farm will be energy storage, achieved by charging a 2MWh battery during optimal wind times and discharging the battery when wind is not available. This will ensure that energy production is kept more constant.
Glenn Ross, Power Station Manager and a Member of the Government’s Legislative Assembly, said: “We are excited about the installation of the three new turbines as Phase One of the wind farm project has been very successful and a further significant step in wind power contribution is certain.”
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Notes for Editors
• The Falkland Islands' location necessarily means that imported fossil fuels are expensive to use, so the Falkland Islands Government is taking advantage of the one source of energy that is cheap, green and in plentiful supply - wind power.
• Since 1996, the Government has been investing in a forward-thinking and environmentally friendly policy to increase its use of renewable energy supplies, such as windpower, and working with the Falkland Islands Development Corporation (FIDC) and consumers to develop the renewable energy grant scheme. This scheme continues to help the Islands move towards sustainability, as well as protecting the unique environment of the Falklands.
• In 2006, the Falkland Islands Government unveiled proposals for Sand Bay Wind Farm, located near the capital, Stanley, and the first phase of the project has since proved highly successful. The installation of three wind turbines resulted in the displacement of 26 per cent of the Stanley Power Station's annual fuel consumption.
• Rural Wind Power: Farms in the Islands used to rely solely on diesel generators for their power but this was expensive and only provided electricity for a few hours a day. Farmers realised the potential for harnessing wind power and today, with funding assistance through FIDC, 85 per cent of farms have 24-hour power from renewable sources.
• At a recent European Union seminar, the Falklands were named in the leading group of Overseas Territories in terms of the percentage of electricity produced from renewable resources.
• The Islands have experimented with other forms of renewable energy including hydro-electric and solar power. These forms work well for smaller applications but cannot match the performance or cost effectiveness of wind power. Therefore, the Falklands will be examining the potential of modern energy storage and heat pump technologies to optimise wind power and further reduce the consumption of fossils fuels.
• Falkland Islands information is available at www.falklands.gov.fk