London’s First Wind Turbines Near Completion

By the end of the month, all of Ford Motor Company’s diesel engines assembled at the company’s factory in Dagenham, England will be assembled using wind power as the construction phase of London’s first wind farm nears completion.

London, England – April 20, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The two 85 meter high turbines will provide 100% of the electricity requirements of Ford’s new Clean Room Assembly Hall which is being built to expand production of diesel engines at the Dagenham engine plant. Ecotricity, the UK’s major supplier of green electricity, began work at the start of the year preparing two Ford sites at Dagenham for the Norman Foster designed turbines. A police escort will accompany the delivery of the turbines on separate trucks to Dagenham from Tilbury Docks where they are transported from Germany. The turbines’ blades will then be lifted into place by a giant crane on 23rd and 27th April. It will only take 3 days to erect each turbine. The first tower sections should be in place by Wednesday and the blades of the west turbine will be lifted into position by a giant crane on Friday 23rd April. A team of construction engineers from Germany will be on the ground and at the top of the turbine. Hoisting the 70-metre rotor should take around 2-3 hours in fair weather. The next steps will be to commission both turbines, involving testing before and after connection to Dagenham estate’s electricity grid. The turbines are set to go live in early summer and a launch event is planned to mark the occasion. “This is one of our biggest projects to date and we are delighted to be behind London’s first wind park,” said Dale Vince OBE, Ecotricity’s Managing Director. “Our turbines will be providing Ford with enough electricity to power over 2,000 homes and we hope that this project will raise awareness of wind power as a viable alternative energy source.” Prime Minister Tony Blair opened Ford’s new high tech Dagenham Diesel Center in November last year, marking a ý325 million (US$390 million) investment in diesel engine engineering and manufacturing on the estate. The two wind turbines will generate 100% of the electricity requirements of the plant, which produces a 2.7 liter V6 engine in its ‘Clean Room’ Assembly Hall. Inside, engines are assembled in sterile conditions, as required for the latest common rail fuel and turbo systems. The first car to feature the new V6 Dagenham diesel engine is the Jaguar S-Type. “There were very good business and environmental reasons for embarking on this project – green power from Ecotricity is not costing Ford a penny more and there are huge environmental benefits too,” said Ford of Britain chairman Roger Putnam. “Thousands of tones of power station emissions are saved by switching our electricity source for the Dagenham Diesel Center to wind power.” In August 2003 the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, gave his approval for this project, endorsing planning approval granted by Havering and Barking & Dagenham Councils’ Planning Committees. Mr Livingstone said, “This scheme will make an important contribution towards making London a more sustainable world city and will help us to achieve some of the key targets in my Energy Strategy,” Livingstone said. “I hope it will encourage other large organizations to consider developing similar schemes on their premises.”
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