In its second year of operation, Glyndebourne’s wind turbine has smashed its target: it was expected to generate 90% of the organisation’s electricity but managed to cover 102% in the 12 months up to January 2014.
Glyndebourne is the first UK arts organisation to generate its own power using a large scale wind turbine. Any power that isn’t used by Glyndebourne is exported to the local grid to provide a source of renewable energy for the community.
The Sussex opera house, recognised as one of the best in the world, is the home of the annual Glyndebourne Festival that attracts vintage cars, ball gowns and champagne picnics to the grounds of the country home of John Christie.
An ‘environmental innovator’
Sir David Attenborough launched Glyndebourne’s German-manufactured Enercon 44 on 20 January 2012, endorsing the opera house as an environmental innovator in the arts community.
Speaking at the launch, Sir David Attenborough said, ‘Wind power can never provide for all our wants but every bit of power generated by wind must be welcomed. Even if we only generate a fraction of what our country needs in this way, then we must.’
In the 24 months since the turbine was launched, it has provided 95% of the organisation’s electricity needs.
Glyndebourne was able to beat its target thanks to a combination of higher average wind speeds in 2013, increased power output from the turbine and also a wider energy-saving drive. The organisation has reduced its electricity use by 3% over the last 12 months, thanks to the introduction of efficiency measures including improved boilers and motion sensors on lights.
During the last 12 month period, the turbine has achieved an annual yield of 1,555 megawatt-hours (MWh) with average annual wind speeds of 5.87 metres per second.