NORTH EAST ENGLAND’S LOW CARBON BEACONS SHOW WAY TO A FOSSIL FREE WORLD

United Kingdom Ray Wind Farm officially opened at Northumberland site on 11 July 2017.

At 125 metres, rotating clockwise, producing fossil free electricity, each of Ray Wind Farm’s 16 wind turbines stand tall among the Northumbrian moors, beacons showing the way to a carbon free future, standard bearers for the climate smart generation.

Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s Senior Vice President of Business Area Wind is humbled by the scale of engineering at sites like Ray Wind Farm. “Standing under a 125-metre tall, 379 tonne, wind turbine and watching its three blades turning gently in a stiff breeze reminds me, like no other, why I do what I do. Just one full spin of these blades will power the average British house for nine hours with fossil free power” pausing, Gunnar added, “and this is what Vattenfall does. This is what Vattenfall will continue do. Vattenfall will be fossil free in one generation.”

Kevin Gibson

Kevin Gibson

Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President of BA Wind, speaks with Lord Devonport, owner of the Ray Estate

Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s Senior Vice President of Business Area Wind is humbled by the scale of engineering at sites like Ray Wind Farm. “Standing under a 125-metre tall, 379 tonne, wind turbine and watching its three blades turning gently in a stiff breeze reminds me, like no other, why I do what I do. Just one full spin of these blades will power the average British house for nine hours with fossil free power” pausing, Gunnar added, “and this is what Vattenfall does. This is what Vattenfall will continue do. Vattenfall will be fossil free in one generation.”

Ray Wind Farm, at 54.4MW, is a modest project compared to Vattenfall’s recently completed 228MW Pen y Cymoedd, its big sister in south Wales, but its benefits are still substantial. In a year, it would meet the annual electricity needs of 30,000 UK households and prevent 50,000 tonnes of climate changing CO2 entering the atmosphere.

Guy Mortimer, Vattenfall’s UK head of onshore wind development, based in the nearby Hexham office, makes the case for onshore wind: “Ray’s wind power is homegrown and it tackles climate change every day. The engineering is impressive and a large part of the project is British built. And it offers a significant legacy to local people with a major community fund.

“This is my office’s local wind farm. We take pride in it. I hope that the communities from Elsdon to Otterburn to Birtley to Kirkwhelpington and to West Woodburn will take pride in it too.”

Vattenfall will invest £250,000 a year throughout the life of the wind farm into a locally run community fund, administered by the Community Foundation. The fund is planned to be launched later this summer.

Peter Skelton

Peter Skelton

Aidan Traill from West Woodburn, with a 125 metre turbine from Ray Wind Farm towering over him, gets on his bike to make a pedal-powered fruit smoothie at the Community Day last Saturday.

Last Saturday [8 July 2017] over 100 people from the community saw the wind farm up close, just a month after the wind farm was finished. Tuesday, 11 July 2017, the stakeholders, engineers, technicians and support staff who helped develop and build the wind farm had their chance to visit too for the official opening.

They heard Gunnar Groebler say: “My last visit was during the turbine installation phase so today it’s great to see the project being inaugurated and all the hard work of everyone here today and many more who can’t be here, come to fruition.  Thank you. On that visit I saw for myself the great co-operation between Vattenfall colleagues, our contractors, local businesses, aviation stakeholders, landowners and the local community.  Co-operation is part of our DNA at Vattenfall and it’s great to see that continue here today.

“Vattenfall is in Britain to grow, Ray Wind Farm is part of that growth story – we are close to 1GW of installed capacity in the UK – next year I look forward to breaking through 1GW in the UK and by 2025 hitting our European target of 7GW. With projects like Ray Wind Farm we are well on our way.”

Kevin Gibson

Kevin Gibson

All the guests at the Ray Wind Farm inauguration gather under one of the 16 wind turbines at Ray Wind Farm.

In 2018, Vattenfall will complete the installation of its European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, off Aberdeen, and with that Vattenfall will operate more than 1GW of installed capacity in the UK. In 2008, when Vattenfall made a significant move into the UK, it operated 90MW.

Inauguration of Ray Wind Farm, July 2017

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