Agricultural wind turbines enable farmers to generate their own clean, renewable power in a world of dramatically rising energy costs. The UK is the windiest country in Europe so harnessing the potential of the wind makes perfect sense when one small agricultural turbine can make a significant impact to a farmer’s business.
A potential barrier to accessing this resource can be the cost of purchasing a wind turbine. Although the additional income from Export Tariffs, Feed-in Tariffs and energy bill savings can cover the cost of financing a turbine in the long term, that initial outlay can be be a substantial step to take.
One such visionary is Richard Medcalf, a farmer and landowner based in the North of Yorkshire, England. Medcalf has effectively countered the growing chokehold of rising energy costs by entering into a wind turbine rental agreement with local turbine supplier Earthmill.
“Prior to the turbine we did our bit for climate change as both farm houses have heat pumps, but now we can say that our farm is even more sustainable,” enthused Medcalf. The turbine itself is a 55kW Endurance E-3120 and only uses around six square meters of his four hundred acre farm and the surrounding field is still fully functional for crops or grazing.
Medcalf now enjoys the regular income that the land rental provides, which will rise with inflation, plus clean energy generated by the turbine. “The extra income the turbine generates has certainly helped in these difficult times, but that’s no comparison on the electric saving we now benefit from. It’s a double whammy. We are safe in the knowledge we are protected against the rising cost of electric for the next twenty years.”
“Our land rental model is ideal for farmers who do not want to invest the large sums necessary to purchase these turbines. Not only do they get an index linked income for 20 years, but also greatly reduced energy prices,” commented Earthmill’s Director of Sales Mark Woodward. “This model has proved so attractive we have recently recruited a further 6 staff, to work out of our Wetherby offices, to help install and maintain these turbines”
The maintenance of the turbine and the ground space around it falls completely under the responsibility of the turbine company, as does the planning and installation. At the end of the rental period a farmer may purchase the turbine, extend the rental or have the turbine removed, which again falls to the turbine company. In this manner, a land owner can reap all the benefits of a turbine without paying a penny.