The largest on-site wind generation project in Wales became operational yesterday as turbine blades started turning at Solutia Chemicals (UK).
Having completed the testing phase, the two 2.5MW wind turbines are now fully operational and will supply up to a third of the chemical company’s needs at the site in Newport, Wales.
Solutia is the second chemical industry project to be built by wind specialists Wind Direct, who are fast becoming the name of choice in the industry. Previously Wind Direct installed two turbines at Eastman Chemicals’ plant in Cumbria which are supplying approximately 25% of the company’s power needs.
Solutia Plant Manager Steve Westhead said:
“These two turbines will reduce our carbon footprint in line with Solutia’s worldwide commitment to sustainability and the environment. They will help us to secure and develop our business and related jobs here by reducing one of our major costs.”
Frankie Karki, Chief Operating Officer for Wind Direct said:
“The chemical industry has high energy requirements and continuous shift patterns, which make chemical companies ideal candidates for on-site energy. The Wind Direct approach is a zero capital, zero risk approach, so it is proving a major attraction as companies look for ways to reduce their costs.”
The power generated by the Solutia turbines each year will be equivalent to the average amount of electricity used by 3,000 households.
The output of the turbines will also make a significant contribution to Wales’ onshore wind energy target of 800 megawatts by 2020 and the Welsh Assembly Government’s desire to become self sufficient in renewable energy by 2028.