IN the search for efficient forms of renewable energy, the UK has focused much of its attention on wind power.
Among the large-scale projects in the pipeline is one of Europe’s biggest offshore wind farms, off the coast of Llandudno, the construction of which is due to begin at the end of next year.
While it may not have been welcomed by everyone, the 160 turbine Gwynt y Mor project, set for completion in 2014, should provide energy for 400,000 homes each year.
The potential of harnessing the power of the wind has certainly been recognised nationally, but what if you could make the most of wind power on a domestic level?
This is exactly what Wrexham-born entrepreneur Sandy Woodward and his co-founders at Evoco Energy have been working on for a number of years and they are now seeing their hard work come to fruition.
“Evoco Energy is part of a successful £20 million international trading group with 30 years of trading history,” Sandy, who grew up in the village of Overton, explained.
“Evoco’s origins lie in our chairman Julian Wiley’s desire to find a better way to mitigate his personal and corporate impact on global warming.
“Julian has always had a drive to be ‘green and it was him who originally set about buying a wind turbine.
“However, he didn’t find what he was looking for and in short, brought in myself and Ryan Gill to set up the business.
“Following our initial research, we partnered up with a small wind component supplier for full turbine design work to our specification.
“After four years of research and development, perfecting our technology behind closed doors, we are now setting new standards of honesty and integrity in the small wind arena by only releasing mature, independently tested turbines to the market.”
Evoco Energy offers cutting edge wind turbine technology to private individuals.
The company’s core product, aimed at farmers and landowners, is a 10kw turbine.
It has been through rigorous testing and is now on full Government-backed MCS product certification (meaning that it has had six months of in-field testing, monitored every second throughout the period).
The turbine is slightly bigger than a lamp-post, typically standing at 15 metres in height, compared with the offshore ones, like those intended for sites such as Gwynt y Mor, which are usually between 80m and 100m high.
And it doesn’t even matter if there is no wind.
This may seem absurd, but with a grid-connected turbine, excess generated energy is sold to the national grid.
When there is no wind, and therefore no power generation, you simply buy back from the grid as normal.
As well as helping the environment, according to Sandy, the turbines also represent a great financial investment.
“Our cutting edge wind turbines are all about return on investment, both in terms of money and the environment,” Sandy stressed.
“The income from a wind turbine is only earned when clean energy is generated, so our mission to maximise tax-free income generation for our customers is equally a mission to efficiently minimise our customers’ carbon footprint.
“As of April this year, the UK got a feed in tariff for small wind and solar PV (basically a tariff for generating electricity).
“This is literally the biggest thing that’s ever happened for small renewables.
“It means that you get paid simply for generating electricity and you can make extra savings by using it on your own site or selling it back to the grid.
“For us, this means that on a good site a turbine that costs £40,000 could generate and save the farmer £10,000 per year – four years’ payback, which is amazing.”
Solar power is well established globally and is becoming more and more popular in the UK.
But as we in North Wales look for more ways to reduce our carbon footprint, could the way forward be small wind power?
For more information, visit www.evocoenergy.co.uk