Norvento Wind Turbine Project
Shoreham Port has taken further action to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and continues to convert to using renewable energy. Planning permission was granted in 2015 for two Norvento nED100 wind turbines and they were erected in 2016. The two turbines are located on the seaward side of the Outer Lay-by Terminal off Basin Road South.
The turbines are on average capable of producing annually 555,000 kWh of electricity, matching the energy demand of the Port’s pump house that they are connected too. Wind energy forms part of the Port’s wider energy strategy, of which solar power is already playing an important role.
Why does Shoreham Port want to install wind turbines?
Wind energy has the potential to play a significant role in transforming Shoreham Port into a recognised centre of excellence for renewable energy generation to meet its own power needs and those of the local community.
Are wind turbines efficient and reliable energy providers?
Wind turbines are able to generate electricity by using the power of the wind; a free, natural resource. The speed and direction of the wind varies constantly, meaning that there are times when turbines are able to generate at or close to their maximum capacity and there are also times when turbines may not generate anything. Inevitably they generally operate somewhere between the two extremes, but on an annual basis it is possible to make a reasonable prediction of the anticipated generation that will be achieved.
Even though wind speed can be variable, a modern wind turbine is able to produce electricity 70-85% of the time, generating different levels of power dependent on wind speed. Inevitably there are times when wind speed is insufficient to allow generation to take place (plus a small amount of down time for maintenance), but over the course of a year, it will generate about 30% of the theoretical maximum output. This is known as its load factor. The load factor of conventional power stations is on average 50%.
The key point here is that the fuel source being used (wind) is natural and free. Operation of the turbines will not generate harmful environmental emissions, unlike the operation of conventional power stations using fossil fuels.
Why are the turbines where there are?
The turbines will be feeding power to the Pump House located on the southern side of the locks. It is therefore essential that they are situated within close proximity to this building, whilst not impacting on the movement of vehicles and goods within the Port, or presenting other operational or safety hazards. In addition, consideration has been given to maximising the distance of the turbine from residential properties located to the north of the A259 (Albion Street).
With these factors in mind, the turbines have been located at the top of the revetment, adjacent to the access way running along the southern boundary fence of the Outer Layby Terminal close to the Pump House.
How big are the wind turbines?
The wind turbines are nED100 turbines manufactured by Norvento. The turbines consist of a tubular tower 24.5m high and a three bladed rotor with a diameter of 22m. The tip height is therefore 35.5m. To put this into perspective, the lighting towers used throughout the Port are 30m in height and the chimney stack at Shoreham Power Station has a height of 106m. In comparison the turbine on the Glyndebourne Estate has a tip height of 67m.
What impact will turbines have on energy consumption at the Pump House?
The Pump House is essential to the operation of the port. Daily use of the locks results in water being lost back to the sea and water levels in the basin being reduced. It is therefore essential for water to be pumped back into the basin, a function which is undertaken by the Pump House.
The annual electricity consumption at the Pump House is 475,000kWh. It is predicted that the two turbines will on average generate a total of 555,000kWh per year.
The level of turbine generation is therefore well matched to the power requirements of the Pump House and it is expected that annual generation will slightly exceed the equivalent power requirement.
What happens when too much or too little electricity is being generated by the turbines?
Power requirements at the Pump House vary by time of day and time of year. Whilst there is a good base load electricity requirement, the pumps are not running continuously since it is more efficient for the pumps to operate either side of high tide. Also, internal and external lighting is in operation for longer during winter than during summer.
All of these issues, along with the variability of wind, are likely to lead to periods when more electricity is being demanded than is being generated by the turbines. The opposite is also likely to occur at times, where the turbines are able to generate more electricity than is being used.
Since the turbine power generation is being directly connected to the Pump House supply, this will allow additional electricity to be taken seamlessly from the grid supply to make up any short fall in availability. Conversely, this also allows excess generation to be fed back into the grid where it can be sold to the supply company and used by others.
How long do wind turbines last?
The Norvento turbines have a design life of 20 years, but it is not unusual for turbines that are well maintained to operate effectively for 25 years.
Are wind turbines noisy?
Wind turbines are mechanical and do generate noise when operational, although the evolution of wind turbine technology over the past decade has reduced this noise considerably. The turbines being installed are very modern in design and the technology being employed allows sound generation to be minimised.
There are strict guidelines that govern wind turbines and noise emissions to ensure the protection of residential amenity. Sound monitoring will be undertaken to ensure the turbines operate within these guidelines.
How long does it take for a turbine to 'pay back' the energy used to manufacture it?
The comparison of energy used in manufacture with the energy produced by a power station is known as the 'energy balance'. It can be expressed in terms of energy 'pay back' time, which is the time needed to generate the equivalent amount of energy used in constructing the wind turbine or power station.
The average wind turbine in the UK will pay back the energy used in its construction within three to five months, this compares favourably with coal or nuclear power stations, which take about six months.
Why not use other sources of renewable energy?
Shoreham Port does use additional sources of renewable energy. At the moment this takes the form of solar PV panels mounted on the roof of several buildings such as Hove Enterprise Centre Shed 3a and Shed 10 on Brighton Terminal, with plans for further installations in the future. In each case the power is used as much as possible to meet local electricity requirements. With the Pump House having such a high electricity demand 24 hours per day, the use of wind generation is better suited to meet the needs of the Pump House, especially in mid-winter when daylight hours are short.
Shoreham Port have been investigating renewable energy generation for a number of years and are committed to expanding the use of embedded renewable energy projects where it can be demonstrated they can play a vital part in the sustainability of the port, including the possibility of water source heat pumps and district heating as well as further solar PV and wind turbine installations.
Can Shoreham Port take other measures to reduce its impact on the environment?
Shoreham Port has a long term environmental and sustainability plan and has been taking action to reduce the impact of the Port on the environment for many years.
Shoreham Port endorses the principles of the European Sea Ports Organisation's (ESPO) Environmental Policy Code of Practice and has attained the ECOPORTS Port Environmental Review System (PERS) standard (June 2013). The Port's Environmental Management System documentation is audited by Lloyds Register every two years, the last one being in May 2015.
Existing and proposed environmental measures include lower carbon emission from mobile plant and cranes, a green travel plan for staff and visitors, replacing lighting with LED and embracing both local and national green initiatives, monitoring air and water quality and when identified implementing control measures that endorse environmental ethics. Renewable energy generation projects form just one element within this long term plan, albeit an important one.
Please contact Peter Davies, Development Director on 01273 598100 for additional information.