Octopus Energy has announced plans to power 100,000 UK homes with wind energy produced from 'repowered' and refurbished wind turbines. The firm, which is one of Europe's largest clean energy companies, is partnering with EWT, the turbine manufacturer, to refurbish and upgrade 1,000 UK-based onshore wind turbines. This will mean replacing ageing turbines at existing farms with the latest and most efficient turbine technologies.
Research from WindEurope suggests that repowering can boost generation capacity two-fold whilst boosting electricity output by up to 300%. This is because the newer and more efficient turbines can operate more efficiently to generate a higher throughput of power for each capacity unit.
With Britain currently struggling with rising fuel costs and the ongoing energy crisis, wind turbine upgrades could be a powerful means of boosting the country's energy security of supply - particularly using existing farms which are already sited in the best spots and have supporting infrastructure in place.
Giles Dickson, the CEO of WindEurope, said that existing repowering projects show that the approach can have a huge impact on producing fast, clean renewable energy in large volumes. This is because older wind turbines tend to have the most optimal locations but need the latest technologies to meet the latest standards. There are around 9,000 onshore turbines currently in the UK, and around 1,000 of these are ideal for repowering.
The work will begin this autumn, and Octopus expects the project to be completed by 2030, allowing thousands more UK homes to benefit from clean, cheap and reliable renewable energy from existing onshore wind farm locations.
Octopus is also forging ahead with other clean energy projects, including the build of a vast subsea cable to buy in overseas solar and wind electricity.