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Small Wind Systems

‘It’s not about small wind vs. big wind...both are a great idea and the public should warmly embrace anything that helps us to secure our domestic energy and help tackle climate change.’

Large wind farms, if sited correctly, are a really good idea. A single 2.5MW turbine can power over 1,400 homes each year. The problem is that they are quite big and at nearly £3million per turbine, they’re not very affordable for most landowners.

Consistently, opinion polls have shown that 70% plus of respondents like wind farms and think they’re a good idea. However, a minority object to wind farms mainly because of the way they look, often planning applications get turned down because it is said that large turbines will create an adverse ‘landscape and visual impact’. Small wind systems, by their very nature have a lower visual impact and tend to be more acceptable to neighbours. As a result the planning process tends to be much more straightforward.

Small wind systems are also far more affordable, a typically 10kW system would cost between £50-£60,000, making owning your own turbine much more achievable. And although a 10kW turbine won’t power 1,400 homes it will provide enough electricity for you and several neighbours...which for something so small is quite remarkable. For more information on the cost of ownership click here.

Feed-in Tariff scheme

On 1st April 2010 the government introduced Feed-in Tariffs to encourage individuals and businesses to invest in and install renewable energy devices. The scheme is available across Great Britain except in Northern Ireland – this is currently under review.

Under this scheme energy suppliers have to make payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources such as solar electricity panels or wind turbines.

About the Scheme

The scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by a Micro-generation System (MCS) accredited system. There is also a separate payment for the electricity exported to grid. These payments are in addition to savings the consumer will make on their electricity bill by using the electricity generated on-site.

The scheme covers solar electricity (PV), wind turbine, hydroelectricity, anaerobic digestion and micro combined heat and power (micro CHP) up to an installation size of 5MW.

You will qualify for the full FIT payments if the system is MCS certified and installed by a MCS accredited installer.

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an independent scheme that certificates microgeneration products under 50kW and installers in accordance with consistent standards. Any commercial or larger scale systems, over 50kW, and all anaerobic digestion installations must apply directly through the Renewables Obligation Order feed-in tariff process for larger installations (ROO-FIT) process as they are not covered by the MCS.

How the scheme works

If you are eligible to receive the FIT then you will benefit in 3 ways:

1. Generation tariff – a set rate paid by the energy supplier for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. This rate will change each year for new entrants to the scheme (except for the first 2 years), but once you join you will continue on the same tariff for 20 years, or 25 years in the case of solar electricity (PV).

2. Export tariff - you will receive a further 3p/kWh from your energy supplier for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, that is when it isn’t used on site. The export rate is the same for all technologies.

3. Energy bill savings – you will be making savings on your electricity bills , because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site.

All generation and export tariffs will be linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) which ensures that each year they follow the rate of inflation.

Making small wind pay

The table below provides a simple indication of the potential returns based on a typical 15kW small wind system. Please note that this is a guide only. Contact us and we can tailor a financial forecast based on your site and requirements.

Average Wind Speed m/s

m/s

5m/s

6m/s

7m/s

8m/s

9m/s

10m/s

Annual power output

kWh

27354

40047

52277

63149

72383

80007

Household consumption

%

50%

50%

50%

50%

50%

50%

kWh

13677

20023

26138

31574

36192

40004

Cost of imported energy

p/kWh

12.95

12.95

12.95

12.95

12.95

12.95

Saving on imported energy

£

£1,771

£2,593

£3,385

£4,089

£4,687

£5,180

Export generation

%

50%

50%

50%

50%

50%

50%

Exported power

kWh

13677

20023

26138

31574

36192

40004

Generation Tariff

p/kWh

28

26.7

26.7

26.7

26.7

26.7

Export Tariff

p/kWh

3.1

3.1

3.1

3.1

3.1

3.1

Generation FiT

£

£7,659

£10,692

£13,958

£16,861

£19,326

£21,362

Export FiT

£

£424

£621

£810

£979

£1,122

£1,240

Total FIT

£

£8,083

£11,313

£14,768

£17,840

£20,448

£22,602

Total installation cost

£

£60,000

£60,000

£60,000

£60,000

£60,000

£60,000

Annual maintenance cost

£

£500

£500

£500

£500

£500

£500

Operational life

Years

20

20

20

20

20

20

Payback period

Years

7.9

5.5

4.2

3.5

3.0

2.7

Profit over 20 years

£

£91,661

£156,264

£225,364

£286,792

£338,965

£382,042

Total profit including
energy savings

£

£127,084

£208,125

£293,062

£368,570

£432,702

£485,652

Contact us now for a free site appraisal

BIG in Small Wind
Astech Mill, 50 Stratford Road, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire CV36 4BA
t: +44 (0)1608 670 022 f: +44 (0)1608 238 284

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