Moving with wind

WIND power has come to St Ives – not a wind farm, but the arrival of the UK arm of turbine manufacturer Enercon. The German company has already provided 80 turbines for 14 installations in the UK, including Burton Latimer, near Kettering, and at Swaffham

WIND power has come to St Ives - not a wind farm, but the arrival of the UK arm of turbine manufacturer Enercon.

The German company has already provided 80 turbines for 14 installations in the UK, including Burton Latimer, near Kettering, and at Swaffham in Norfolk.

With the prospect of 28 further windmills to be installed in Britain this year and 40 more next year, it needs a UK base for maintenance and customer support.

It currently has six employees in Edison Road, St Ives, and is looking for a further four with electronics or electrical experience.


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Service manager Christoph Klimek said: "We chose St Ives because it's between two airports, has good access to London and is convenient for Harwich, the port we use quite a lot for the ferries.

"Also it's a lovely town and we already feel at home here.

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"We plan to triple the number of turbines in the next two years. At the moment we are working on two in Britain - on the Isle of Skye and at Manchester City's old football ground at Maine Road."

Enercon specialises in "direct-drive" generators, without the gearboxes used by other manufacturers. "No gearboxes mean there is no need for reservoirs of 1,000 or 2,000 litres of oil, which is not good in an environmentally protected area," Mr Klimek said.

Enercon turbines eliminate mechanical noise and minimise aerodynamic noise by harmonising blade rotation and wind speed and through optimised blade design, the company, which has 11,600 of them installed around the world, says Mr Klimek.

"In addition to technological aspects, potential noise problems are minimised through careful site selection," it adds. "We ensure that our sites are located at a distance from properties where any noise does not exceed recommended noise limits.

"Typically this means that turbines are not placed closer than 400m to residential properties, but this depends on background levels and may be sited closer. The Ecotech turbine in Swaffham, Norfolk, is 360m from residential houses and there have been no noise-related complaints since it was installed in 1999."

INFORMATION: Enercon (UK) is at 24 Edison Road, St Ives: telephone 01480 308150.

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