EMA turns wind power into reality for UK airports

East Midlands Airport (EMA) has today (Tuesday 10th May) officially unveiled two wind turbines and is the first UK airport to install turbines of this magnitude on an aerodrome.

After making a commitment in December 2006 to make ground operations carbon neutral by 2012, the airport sought to implement this innovative project, never yet achieved by a UK airport, to generate energy from wind power.

After a comprehensive process and working in partnership with experienced companies, such as Wind Direct and Wind Prospect, the airport successfully managed to produce a comprehensive and robust safety case that has allowed commercial scale wind turbines to be installed on an airport site.

Accepted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the safety case will now be produced into an off the shelf product for other airports and businesses, both in and out of the aviation industry.

The airport has also worked with companies from across Europe to deliver the project; including Wind Teknik Nord, based in Germany, along with B&K Building Services and Integrated Utility Services.

The turbines measure 45 metres including the rotor blades, which have a radius of 15 metres and together they will produce 5% of the airport’s electricity, enough to power 150 houses.

Electricity will be generated from winds as low as four metres per second and over a year the turbines are expected to produce a carbon saving of approximately 300 tonnes per annum.

Neil Robinson, Director of Sustainability East Midlands Airport said: “We are delighted that the turbines are now in situ and we are looking forward to seeing them generate power for the airport. The turbines will be installed for 20 years and we see it as a significant investment for the airport and the environment. The team here at EMA have worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition and we couldn't be prouder of our achievement.

“Working with experienced companies who have a deep understanding of wind turbines made the process a lot simpler and we are pleased that we can now use the knowledge that we have gained to help other businesses that are looking to create a sustainable future and help the environment.”

The airport is leading the way in innovative projects and has embarked on many UK, European and World firsts in the past two years to ensure that the commitment we set out in 2006, is reached. Over 4million will be invested in projects such as a 26 hectare willow farm that will provide fuel for a bio-mass boiler in the terminal building, a trial of bio-diesel in passenger transport vehicles, a low carbon extension to the terminal building and a dedicated recycling zone that has enabled a recycling rate of 88% - the highest of any other UK airport.

Published on: 09/05/2011 13:54:22

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