Olympic Park erects wind turbines after all

Published on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 09:57
Written by Vicki Mitchem

Seven Quiet Revolution vertical axis wind turbines deployed to provide renewable energy to Olympic Park's lighting infrastructure

It was one of the most high profile criticisms of the Olympic Park's green credentials, even finding its way into an episode of the hit satirical comedy Twenty Twelve. But now those who condemned the Olympic Delivery Authority for failing to follow through with plans to install a giant wind turbine at the Stratford site could be forced into a re-think, after it emerged seven wind turbines have been erected at the Olympic Park.

They might not look like the conventional three blade turbine that had been originally intended, but organisers today confirmed smaller scale vertical axis wind turbines that are designed to be more effective at harnessing the wind power in urban environments have been deployed at the Stratford park.

The so-called qr5 turbines have been provided by British wind turbine manufacturer Quiet Revolution, although because of International Olympic Committee restrictions the company is not allowed to provide further details of the project beyond confirming its technology is featuring at the Olympic Park.

The 18-metre tall turbines boast 8kW of capacity and can provide up to 7,500 kWh of power a year if average wind speeds reach seven metres per second.

A spokesman for the Olympic Delivery Authority said each turbine cost £40,000, adding that they are expected to pay for themselves within 12 years.

"Sustainability has been designed into the project from the beginning, and as a result the ODA will significantly exceed its 50 per cent target to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction of the Olympic Park," he said.

"These seven turbines serve a valuable dual function by providing 40 per cent of the energy for high-powered streetlights as well contributing to the overall renewable energy target. The turbines are connected to the Park's energy supply, which feed renewable energy into the Olympic Park energy network during the day, which offsets power used by the lamp at night."

The London Olympics has been widely praised for delivering the "greenest games ever", featuring a host of energy efficient and low carbon technologies at the various venues.

However, organisers faced criticism in 2010 when it dropped plans for a wind turbine that would serve as a "green beacon" for the park amid fears that the site did not provide adequate average wind speeds.

A recent report from green NGO WWF widely praised the Games green credentials, but warned that organisers were likely to miss a target to deliver 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, despite the efforts to deploy some onsite generation technologies.

Source: ©BusinessGreen

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