Delabole, PL33 9DA
Tel: (01840) 213377
Don't get blown away
The ten turbine wind farm was established in 1991 and is now producing enough power for 3,000 households. The farm was first proposed by landowners Peter and Martin Edwards in 1989. They chose to invest in the turbines, instead of a nuclear power plant, in the hope of pushing the UK in a greener direction. It took three months of construction to build the site and less than a month to commission the turbines. In its first year, the Delabole wind farm brought in 100,000 visitors who were able to look around the turbines freely on tourist walks. In 2001, there was an attempt to attract 150,000 tourists annually to this wind farm by building the Gaia Energy Centre. It was supposed to promote and educate the people of Cornwall about energy conservation and the benefits of renewable energy. Inside they had an auditorium, café and shop, as well as interactive exhibits and a resource library. It closed down just three years after opening since less than a tenth of the projected visitors actually came. Although the Gaia Energy Centre was unsuccessful and closed on the 1st October 2004, the farm continued to stay in production. Since 2002, the farm has been owned and operated by Good Energy.
There were originally ten 400 kilowatt (kW) Vestas wind turbines at Delabole meaning the four megawatt (MW) site reliably provided around 10,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity each year. However, advances in technology meant that Good Energy could significantly improve the efficiency of the wind farm by installing new turbines and so, in December 2009, Good Energy received planning approval to re-power the wind farm, investing £11.8 million into the project.
On 2nd August 2010, the ten original turbines began to be taken down and replaced by four larger, more powerful ones. With a total combined capacity of 9.2MW, these new turbines increased the wind farm's output by roughly two-and-a-half times and now generates enough electricity to supply around 7,000 homes. The wind farm re-opened with four new huge wind turbines on the 22nd February 2011.
British Cycling Museum Delabole Delabole Slate Quarry Camelford