Medium-scale wind manufacturer Norvento has set a new weekly generation record for its nED100 (100kW) turbine at Portfield Gate, Pembrokeshire.
The turbine yielded over 12,600 kWh between 30 November- 6 December – an average of 1,800 kWh a day. This is equivalent to the turbine operating at rated power for 18 hours a day.
Moreover, the turbine, which makes use of advanced technology from the utility-scale wind sector, withstood harsh conditions throughout the windiest week of the year to perform at over 99% availability.
The nED100 incorporates a range of sensors enabling the remote diagnosis, repair, and restart of the machine from Norvento’s permanently staffed control centre in Galicia, Spain. The control centre operates all year around on a 24/7 basis, keeping downtime to a minimum and allowing Norvento to continually optimise performance across its operational portfolio
Simultaneously, the Spanish firm is set to secure a new installation record in the UK by fully commissioning a 100kW site at Clackmae Farm in the Scottish Borders, just one month after grid connection being secured.
As the market faces pressure to register for current Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rates, Norvento is poised to complete the installation of another 100kW site by early January, followed by the installation of another 5 wind turbines in the first quarter next year. Despite the acceleration of tariff degressions and the expiry of the pre-accreditation process, Norvento has demonstrated consistent growth in its fleet of nED100 100kW turbines, which will total 20 by the time these sites are connected.
The FiT pre-accreditation process, which expired in October, enabled small and medium wind developers to secure planning permission for a turbine site, and then ‘lock in’ the FiT rate for a period of up to 12 months, providing an opportunity to secure financing for the project.
The expiry of this process has posed serious challenges for the farm-scale wind sector, since planning and financing must now be secured concurrently. This, combined with an accelerated programme of FiT degression – which will see a further tariff drop in the first quarter of 2016 – has put many UK developers under significant time pressure to complete existing installations and driven the market to explore alternative financing strategies for the post-subsidy environment.
In this climate, high levels of performance and availability are critical to the long-term success of an investment in farm-scale wind, while, in the short-term, the ability to bring sites online in a swift manner is highly advantageous.
Yet Norvento is also demonstrating a capacity to swiftly bring online sites that have not managed to secure pre-accreditation.
The installation of one such site, at Clackmae Farm in Berwickshire is due for completion before the end of the month. The 100kW site is being developed by Norvento’s agent, VG Energy, and Norvento will be able to have the turbine delivered and installed within a month of achieving a valid grid connection offer.