Buying a Wind Turbine

Please click to download a simplified flow-chart of the process for buying small and medium sized wind turbines.

When installed in the right location the wind turbines that Southern Wind Power sell and install can give the highest return on investment of all the renewable energy technologies

All wind turbines work best in an unobstructed flow of air mainly found in open spaces. This makes wind turbines ideally suited to farms, country estates, golf courses, schools and colleges and domestic properties with large gardens or adjoining fields. 

Desk Top Study

Initially Southern Wind Power will conduct a free desk top study where we will consult maps of your proposed site including Google Earth and Magic Map and databases such as the NOABL Wind Speed database to assess the suitability of your site before you spend any money.

Full Site Survey/Feasibility Study

If your site is suitable we need to visit it to assess the site in detail. Amongst other things we will:

  • Discuss your requirements
  • Discuss process and timescales including the planning process
  • Determine the best position(s) for the turbine
  • Suggest the best turbine and tower to meet your requirements
  • Determine factors that may affect the wind speed
  • Take photographs of the site and surrounding area to use in planning application
  • Assess the type and capacity of your incoming power supply
  • Assess site access and safety
  • Accurately measure and calculate cable requirements and suggest cable run
  • Determine possible noise and shadow flicker issues
  • Assess protected areas, archaeological  and ecological issues
  • Discuss what, if anything, you wish to do yourself
  • Estimate FiT income, pay-back and return on investment

The outcome of the site survey is a detailed site survey report, a budget costing for your chosen turbine and installation and a written estimate of generation and pay-back. Included in the cost is an application to the District Network Operator for connection of the turbine to the National Grid.

Planning

You will require planning permission for your wind turbine.

The easiest way of obtaining planning permission is to contact us for a Planning Application Service.

ZTV for Planning

Using the information captured during the site survey a full planning application for your wind turbine will be prepared and submitted to your Local Authority. Occasionally the local authority planners will require more information e.g. a Bat Survey or a Landscape and Visual Assessment. Southern Wind Power is able to arrange such services.

Our fees usually include the preparation of site specific documentation and plans, submission of documents to the local authority, contact and negotiation with your local planning authority throughout the process.

The DTI have developed a Planning Web Site with information for local authority planners and councillors dealing with planning applications for renewable energy developments. The Planning Portal is a Central Government web site containing information on the planning process and allowing on-line planning applications to be made.

Cornwall Council have also produced an excellent draft guidance document 'Development of Onshore Wind Turbines in Cornwall'. Click here to download a copy.

Delivery & Installation

Once planning permission has been obtained, Southern Wind Power will confirm your quotation, including any amendments that may have become necessary following the planning process, and provide you with an up to date quotation and estimated installation date.
 
Delivery of all the items will be made to your site. The foundation kit for the tower will be delivered to the site in a separate delivery to the turbine and tower as this is needed to enable the concrete foundations to be prepared.

Xzeres Foundation

Key steps in the process are:

  • Site Preparation - includes preparing and laying the concrete foundations for the tower, as well as digging a trench and laying cable for the electrical connection to be made. The concrete will usually require up to 2 weeks to cure (weather and temperature dependent). 
  •  
  • Electrical – installation of all electrical components to enable the wind turbine to be connected to the grid. The local electricity company may need to change your meter for a bi-directional one.
  •  
  • Turbine and Tower – usually delivered together. With some turbine’s the tower is mounted onto the tower, the blades and cover are then fitted, and the tower raised. With larger turbines the tower is usually fitted onto the foundations and the turbine is lifted into place by crane. This process can take from one or two days for the smaller turbines and a few days longer for larger turbines.

Left: Completing the assembly of the foundation kit for an Xzeres 442SR before lowering into the foundation hole and pouring the concrete.

  

 

Commissioning

Commissioning tests are carried out either immediately after installation, or a day or two afterwards, so you can start to generate clean renewable power.

During these tests we will ensure the turbine and all connections to the national electricity grid are functioning correctly. This will usually involve standard electrical tests, as well as checking the mechanical installation.

After the turbine is commissioned the Product Warranty Certificate is completed.

Selling Surplus Power

In the UK you will receive a generation tariff (known as the Feed in Tariff or FiT) for all the electricity that you produce whether you use it or not. Surplus power generated and not used by you, is usually sold back to your electricity provider for an agreed price – this is known as the export tariff.

You may find that you need to shop around the different energy suppliers to find out the best deal for you. 

Delivery & Installation

Once planning permission has been obtained, Southern Wind Power will confirm your quotation, including any amendments that may have become necessary following the planning process, and provide you with re-validated written full quotation and estimated installation date.
 
Delivery of all the items will be made to your site. The foundation kit for the tower will be delivered to the site in a separate delivery to the turbine and tower as this is needed to enable the concrete foundations to be prepared.

The key steps in the process are:
• Site Preparation - includes preparing and laying the concrete foundations for the tower, as well as digging a trench for the electrical connection to be made.
• Electrical – installation of all electrical components to enable the wind turbine to be connected to the grid. The local electricity company may need to change your meter for a bi-directional one.
• Turbine and Tower – usually delivered together. With some turbine’s the tower is mounted onto the tower, the blades and cover are then fitted, and the tower raised. With larger turbines the tower is usually fitted to the foundations and the turbine is lifted into place by crane. This process can take from one or two days for the smaller turbines and up to a week for the larger turbines.

The whole process usually takes three days, with 1-2 weeks required for the concrete to cure (weather and temperature dependent).

Commissioning

Commissioning tests are carried out either immediately after installation, or a day or two afterwards, so you can start to generate clean renewable power.

During these tests the installer will ensure the turbine and all connections to the grid are functioning correctly. This will usually involve standard electrical tests, as well as checking the mechanical installation.

After the turbine is commissioned the Product Warranty Certificate is completed with a copy passed to you.

Selling Surplus Power

In the UK you will receive a generation tariff (known as the Feed in Tariff) for all the electricity that you produce whether you use it or not. Surplus power generated and not used by you, is usually sold back to your electricity provider for an agreed price – this is known as the export tariff.

You may find that you need to shop around the different energy suppliers to find out the best deal for you.