There is a new sight on the skyline as you approach Findhorn – a cluster of four wind-powered turbines standing proudly and gracefully where there used to be just one. Three new turbines have gone up last week to join Moya, our existing electricity-generating windmill.
Years of planning and raising funds have come to fruition and now The Park ecovillage will be self-sufficient in energy that is generated from the wind, a natural resource so abundant here in northern Scotland next to the sea.
Mari Hollander, our management team leader, said, “It is such a joyful moment for me and in the life of the community. We will need to hold back on the celebrations and opening ceremony just for a little while until we can learn how to operate the systems smoothly and finish the installation. We also need a process for naming the new windmills.”
To oversee the project of erecting the new turbines, engineer Per Hansen, who had previously lived at Findhorn, returned to give his expert help. The three second-hand turbines had arrived by ship last autumn from Denmark where they were being replaced with larger turbines. Their special compact size is important for us, as we share life on the Findhorn peninsula with our neighbours at the Royal Air Force base at Kinloss, and the lower height is needed.
Findhorn Windpark Ltd will provide the electricity to customers in The Park ecovillage. Houses will be able to take electricity from the turbines via their individual meters, while they will still be able to draw electricity from the national electricity grid when no power from the wind is produced. When the wind is blowing strongly, any excess power goes onto the national grid where it will be sold by Scottish and Southern Energy to local customers.
Alex Walker, a director of Findhorn Windpark, said: “Our small-scale community sustainability project will be locally owned and operated. Wind energy is the fastest growing energy technology in the world, and our three new wind turbines are a local contribution to wind power becoming a major source of energy in Europe by the end of the decade.”
If you are inspired about possible names for the new windmills, send your thoughts to the email address below. More news of the opening celebrations will be on the way.