Octopus plans wind turbine retrofit drive

Octopus and EWT is targeting older, less efficient, wind turbines across England, Scotland and Wales for retrofitting.

In total the UK has approximately 9,000 onshore wind turbines. Octopus says that upgrading just 10% of them could unlock enough new power for hundreds of thousands of homes a year.

“When it comes to wind turbine blades, size does matter,” Octopus says on its website. “You can get two to three times more power by lengthening the blades and adjusting the tower to a more efficient structure. So we’re identifying the older generation of turbines and doing just that.”

Under Octopus and EWT’s plans, the new EWT wind turbines will range from 250 kW to 1 MW. Work begins this autumn and they aim to be finished by 2030. Starting in the UK, they’re looking at working together on similar projects in other European countries in the future. In this partnership, they’re exploring a range of ways to increase the green power generated by existing onshore wind turbines – from fitting larger turbine blades, to replacing whole wind turbines and wind farms.

Zoisa North-Bond, chief executive of Octopus Energy Generation, said: “We need to build enormous amounts of new renewable power, but at the same time it’s a no-brainer to make better use of the UK’s existing onshore wind turbines. There’s a huge untapped opportunity to repower wind turbines that communities have already hosted for many years. This means powering even more homes with cheaper, local, green energy, helping to drive down energy bills and provide energy security.”

EWT chief executive Carel Kok added: “By working with Octopus to rapidly repower lots of older turbines in the UK, we’ll help bring online much more renewable capacity. Our powerful and tech-enabled turbines are the perfect ‘goldilocks’ solution for communities. We’re looking forward to installing many more in the years to come to turn this vision into reality.”

Octopus Energy Generation manages 3 GW of renewable energy assets across Europe. It is stepping up its generation capabilities and is planning to create 18 GW of green energy generation projects across the world by 2027.

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