Glyndebourne wind turbine claims are misleading

“The Glyndebourne wind turbine appears to be one of the least productive wind turbines in the country”

Glyndebourne’s website is euphoric, claiming “wind turbine continues to exceed target in third year of operation”:

Approval within a National Park was granted on the basis of a claimed output (or load) factor of 28.1%. This figure still appears on their website alongside the words: ‘This load factor has been used to assess the viability of the turbine”: Prior to construction I predicted a pitiful output factor of 18% (‘Insufficient wind at Glyndebourne’, letters, Nov 27, 2009).

I have monitored actual long-term output using Glyndebourne’s figures, which in turn match a national database: The actual annual output factor is pitiful at just 17.5%. This is almost identical to the output of the much-lampooned ‘Green Park’ turbine alongside the M4 near Slough.

I realise my views as a Ringmer resident may be dismissed as nimbyism. So I offered the above analysis to The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a respected, national, apolitical group whose remit includes such assessments:

These are the comments from REF’s director, Dr John Constable: “The Glyndebourne wind turbine appears to be one of the least productive wind turbines in the country, with a rolling load factor since commissioning in 2011 of about 18%. We have data to calculate load factors for over 500 of the larger installations (500 kW and above). The Glyndebourne turbine performance puts it in the bottom ten per cent of this population. Indeed, it is the worst performing 900 kW turbine of the 12 for which we have data (the best, at over 40%, is on Benbecula).

“I don’t think the Glyndebourne load factor is very surprising in such a location. A result as high as 28%, which is the figure you tell me was claimed at planning, can never have been realistic.”

Dr Tony Parker