It’s fair to say I love my job, and I love the industry I’m in. As much as the majority of systems that we are installing presently are solar PV and Biomass boilers, I particularly love our wind turbine projects. Due to wildly varying interpretations of planning law nationally, sadly far fewer get installed than we’d like. So when they do it’s a great feeling, none more so than when your client is the RSPCA. I’ve always had a soft spot for the RSPCA since we got our first pets from their Southall rescue centre as children.
Animal welfare is obviously at the heart of all they do, and keeping pets safe, comfortable and warm is costly. Of course as a charity money is always tight so choosing to invest money for long term benefit makes sense, but also needs careful thought. We asked Rita Hinton, branch secretary at Brent Knoll centre to write some words about the process, and of course for some feedback about how we did. This is what she wrote…
Our RSPCA Animal Centre at Brent Knoll is on a large site, with high annual energy bills. These have been rising to worrying levels over the recent years and we decided to look into ways of offsetting some of the cost whilst making us a little less reliant on our Utility provider.
The welfare of the animals in our care is of prime importance and if the temperature drops below a certain level, the heating automatically switches on and is a massive cost to us.
Our electricity bill can be as much as £10,000 a year (roughly £27 a day) and it is anticipated the turbine will produce half the electricity we use, as well as produce an income via the Feed in Tariff.
Having researched the market for suitably qualified experts, we contracted Renewable Solutions UK Ltd to carry out a site assessment to establish our options. It transpired that we had a good annual wind-speed and our open and rural location lent itself to a wind turbine.
This was certainly a first for us, and we were initially a little daunted. We need not have been. Renewable Solutions carried out the design and planning in-house and were very proactive in dealing with the local Planning authority idiosyncrasies.
When planning was approved the Company worked swiftly and efficiently to arrange a schedule for the installation. This was during an incredibly poor period of weather, which threw floods, snow, and sub-zero temperatures at us. The Company worked with a local recommended contractor to excavate for the base and then senior management oversaw the pouring of concrete and fixing of the lower tower section.
The Company then assembled the turbine and a crane was bought in to lift it onto the base section. The Company’s electrician ran an underground cable to connect to the grid and the turbine was left spinning on the day they finished…..very exciting!
Everything ran smoothly without fuss or inconvenience. The Centre operated as usual throughout and the Company were very careful to arrange their work to limit the impact on staff and animals.
We have nothing but praise for Renewable Solutions. The level of service they have provided, together with their expertise, has been superb. We are certainly wind turbine novices and they made a very pleasant experience of something that would otherwise have been very daunting.
Over the next few months we will be letting other Centres know about our installation in the hope that similar projects can be completed. I would thoroughly recommend the Company – they have delivered for us exactly what they promised.
Glowing recommendations are always warmly received, especially when I can go home and tell my cat Rafa all about it! He’s more of a lover of sunshine than wind mind!
For information about the work of the RSPCA click here.
For more information on Wind Turbines click here.