12 Nov 10

Tamar Valley wind turbine is raised

A wind turbine has been raised at Tamar Valley Centre in Drakewalls, near Gunnislake.

The £31,400 project was funded by £14,200 from EDF Energy’s Green Fund, £15,700 from the Government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme and £1,500 from Cornwall Council, which owns the visitor centre.

It is the final piece of the renewable energy jigsaw at the visitor centre, which is part of the historic former Drakewalls Mine, set in the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Site.

The centre already has a biomass boiler run by wood pellets and solar panels generating electricity and hot water. Now the wind turbine is working all the electricity, heating and hot water on site is generated by renewable energy, meaning the centre’s carbon footprint has been reduced to virtually nothing.

Jonathan Stubbs, who leads EDF Energy’s Green Fund, said: “Tamar Valley Centre is an exemplary showcase for sustainable design, construction and power which we are proud to support. Thousands of visitors can learn about wind power technology here first-hand, while benefitting directly from an innovative, sustainable building, lit and warmed by the power of the wind, the sun and the wood pellet fuel. We hope the wind turbine and other renewable energy technologies here will inspire everyone to make small changes in their own lives which together can make a big difference to the environment.”

Julian German, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Climate Change, said: “We are committed to Cornwall being a leader on the world staqe in renewable energy. The range of green energy schemes at the Tamar Valley Centre make it very clear to the public just what can be achieved and the wind turbine is a fantastic addition to the site.”

The wind turbine alone will offset carbon dioxide emissions by three tonnes each year. Indoors live read-outs will show visitors how much electricity the turbine is generating, compared to the amount being used.

Designed as an exemplary building by the leading green architect, Bill Dunster Associates ZedFactory Ltd, using innovative, sustainable building methods, the timber framed centre was opened by Princess Anne last June crammed full of environmental features. The addition of the wind turbine was the icing on the cake.

Chris Hariades, Cornwall Council’s principal environmental projects officer, said: “We are delighted that funding was available to make this project possible. Our new wind turbine will help us achieve zero carbon status, showcase renewable energy technology and reduce running costs. Tamar Valley Centre demonstrates how modern sustainable design and renewable energy technologies can be successfully integrated into sensitive, protected landscapes.”

EDF Energy has awarded £4.4million to 252 renewable energy projects since the Green Fund was launched in 2001, including £1.8million to 107 projects in schools, nurseries and colleges. The fund supports renewable energy projects which produce power from the sun, wind, water and geothermal sources that reduce greenhouse gases linked to global warming. Awards of up to £30,000 are available for projects in Great Britain and such funds have helped schools, charities, local authorities, churches, water mills and other non-profit organisations to generate clean, green energy in their own community.