A Green New Year blows in on Sheppey
The four turbines at New Rides in Eastchurch, developed by Energiekontor, were installed in December and have now started generating.
Swale Friends of the Earth has calculated that, with the project complete, the Isle of Sheppey is now generating enough renewable power – from wind turbines and solar farms – to meet the average annual electricity needs of over 20,000 households.
Anna Stanford, Coordinator of Swale Friends of the Earth, said: “It’s fantastic to see the turbines at New Rides Wind Farm now turning. Even more exciting is that there is now enough renewable energy being generated on Sheppey to meet the needs of all homes on the Island, and more.
People are worried about climate change but in Swale we should feel proud that we are doing our bit. New Rides Wind Farm is a symbol of positive action to protect our planet and shows that we have the technology to solve the climate crisis.”
The New Rides Wind Farm comprises four turbines totalling 8.8MW in capacity. The developer estimates that these will supply enough electricity for more than 6,000 homes a year. The other renewable energy projects on the Isle of Sheppey are:
- HMP Standford Hill Wind Farm: 2 x 2.3MW wind turbines = 4.6MW
- Sheerness Docks Wind Farm: 4 x 2.05MW wind turbines = 8.2MW
- Old Rides Solar Farm: 8MW
- South Lees Solar Farm: 11MW
This means the total amount of renewable energy generated on the Island as of 1 January 2019 is 40.6MW. This is sufficient to meet the average electricity needs of around 20,200 households every year, according to Government statistics. The calculation takes into account the fact that the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine all the time (i.e. the capacity factor of the wind and solar generating plant).
Renewables across Swale:
In the wider Swale borough, there are a further seven renewable energy projects operational, with a combined installed capacity of over 77MW and others planned. Swale Borough Council’s latest renewable energy study concludes that Swale could achieve 30% of its electricity from renewables by 2020 to contribute to the Government’s renewable energy target.
Anna Stanford added: “In Swale we are vulnerable to the effects of climate change – like sea level rise, flooding and drought. Renewable energy can play a significant role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, by moving us away from dirty fossil fuels. Renewables supplied a record-breaking third of the UK’s power in November and costs have fallen dramatically, making it a cost-effective, as well as clean, solution to meeting our energy needs.”