First the promise, perhaps a bit overrated:
The article goes on to say:
The borough already has one publicly-owned turbine — a 33ft Air Dolphin turbine at a location off Taylors Lane, Oldbury, near the civic amenities site in Shidas Lane.
Through monitoring the performance of the turbine it was hoped the council would be able to find out how practical it would be to harness wind power on a large scale in the borough
Here is what it looks like:
Interestingly, right below the picture on this sale page for the wind turbine, they say this:
With the average price for 1kWh of electricity in the UK at around 11 pence, this wind turbine is predicted to save its owner just £55 to £154 per year giving a pay back period of 45 to 125 years!
I kid you not, that’s actually what they say. In tips and notes, UK blogger Derek Sorensen calls our attention to this FOI request regarding the production of the very same wind turbine on Taylors Lane, Oldbury.
Sandwell Borough Council
31 March 2011
Thank you for your enquiry about the Taylor’s Lane wind turbine in
Oldbury. The answers to your questions are as follows:
1) Could you please tell me the total cost spent on purchase and
installation of the 33ft Air Dolphin turbine at a location off Taylor’s
Â£5,000 (plus VAT) was the total cost of the Taylor’s Lane micro wind
turbine in Oldbury, including foundations, tower and connections.
2) Could you also tell me how much has been spent on the turbine since?
Nothing has needed to be spent since it was installed.
3) How much electricity has been generated by the turbine and how much has
been spent monitoring the performance of the turbine – e.g. cost of
setting up a computer/software etc.
No money has been spent monitoring the performance of the micro wind
turbine at Taylor’s Lane.
However, the council paid Â£750 for 3 years of monitoring an identical
micro wind turbine at Bleakhouse Primary School in Oldbury. We chose to
monitor just one of the turbines to minimise costs. We wanted to track
performance, establish whether predicted wind speeds in Sandwell were
accurate and use the technology and readings for educational purposes in
For the 12 months between May 2009 and April 2010, the Bleakhouse Primary
School micro wind turbine generated 209 kWh of electricity.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
request, and should be addressed to:
Freedom of Information Unit
Oldbury Council House
Email – [Sandwell Borough Council request email]
If you are not content with the outcome of an internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Please remember to quote your reference number above in any future
Sustainable & Economic Regeneration Unit
Sandwell Borough Council paid £5,000 a pop to install several wind turbines in their area, and then paid another £750 to have the output of just one of them monitored.
The monitored turbine, which was installed on a primary school, generated 209kWh of electricity in the twelve months it was being monitored. That’s about 20 quid’s worth. So each turbine will have to run for 250 years without breaking down or requiring maintainance, just to break even.
Such a deal. Since the FOI request was granted on March 31st, and the Express and Star News story was February 24th, do you think the Sandwell council may have had time to consider these massive energy production figures for their toy £5000 toy turbine?