BORO have agreed a multi-million pound scheme that will make them the UK’s first major football club and sports venue to use a wind turbine to become self-sustainable for electricity use.
The 1.5MW turbine will provide all the electricity required for the stadium for the next 20 years, replacing power that would otherwise be drawn from the National Grid with carbon-free energy generated by the wind. Empowering Wind MFC Ltd, the turbine’s operator, will gain “several million pounds” during its envisaged 25-year lifetime, in line with OFGEM’s feed-in tariff for wind turbines of up to 1.5MW capacity.
Boro Chief Executive Neil Bausor says: “We are delighted to launch this pioneering initiative in association with Empowering Wind, which gives us a major environmental lead in football.
“Energy consumption is a key factor for all businesses and we have worked incredibly hard in recent years to reduce our costs significantly. It is exciting to think we will become the UK’s first football club to have a completely sustainable energy consumption programme.
“As well as being good for the environment, this initiative will also enable us to make extra savings and enhance our aspirations on the field.”
Empowering Wind’s chief executive, Paul Millinder, adds: “Middlesbrough FC needs congratulating on its far-sightedness in launching this pioneering long-term initiative with us, which is the first of its kind in Europe and possibly worldwide.
“The Middlesbrough wind turbine demonstrates our strategy of specialising in embedded power generation and developing renewable energy where it is needed, where the presence of a turbine is justified by eliminating substantial on-site power demands and the associated carbon emissions of electricity that would otherwise be drawn from the National Grid.
“Our turbine has an oversize rotor, full power converter and direct-drive technology with fewer moving parts and therefore reduced operating and maintenance costs. The gearless technology, combined with savings in excitation power, create a higher energy yield. The turbine also cuts in and starts generating at a wind speed of only 2.5 metres a second, generating power even on days of a relatively gentle breeze.
“This initiative demonstrates the financial and environmental benefits to football clubs and other arena-based sports organisations. We are extremely keen to engage with other football clubs and sports stadia on a similar basis.”
Mr Millinder added that while precise details of the Middlesbrough FC deal are confidential, the turbine, in a location with a similar power consumption and wind profile, would save about £3.2m during the next 20 years at the current lowest commercial tariffs, although electricity prices are expected to rise sharply during the next decade. From an environmental perspective, it would save an estimated 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the environment each year.
Empowering Wind MFC Ltd is a subsidiary of Clean Tech Investments Ltd. The company benefits from the preferential Feed in Tariff payments for wind turbines of 500KW – 1.5MW installed capacity and the turbine will generate around 4600MWh per annum over its 25 year envisaged operational lifetime.
The project is one of several 1.5MW wind turbines to be constructed prior to February 2015 and operated by Clean Tech Investments subsidiaries.