The original Haverigg 1 windcluster used five Vestas V27 turbines, with a total rating of 1.125MW. It ran from August 1992 until November 2004, in which time it generated about 40,000 MWh. (To put that in context, a typical home consumes about 4.8 MWh in a year). In technical terms, this was an average capacity factor of 32.5%
It now seems difficult to believe, but back in 1991 we had trouble raising money for what proved to be such a successful project. We had a secure NFFO contract for the sale of the power at a known price and were planning to use proven Danish wind turbine technology, but still the financiers were wary.
Fortunately our then Chairman Glyn England had good contacts in the industry and with his help PowerGen agreed to join us in a joint venture. They financed 75% of the £1.0 million cost and our brave private shareholders came up with the equity. We also obtained a loan from Mercury Provident and in early summer of 1992 construction started. The project was commissioned on 5 August 1992. It was formally opened in December of that year by the then Minister for the Environment and Countryside, David Maclean at a ceremony hosted by the Haverigg Primary School.
The Friends of the Lake District said that “Windcluster’s first development in Cumbria [Haverigg 1] demonstrates that carefully located, small clusters of turbines can be acceptable in the environment.”
The V27 turbines were dismantled in 2004 to make way for the four larger V52 turbines, the Haverigg 3 windcluster. But old turbines never die, and the V27 workhorses have found new homes. Three have gone to Gigha where they are called the Dancing Ladies: Faith, Hope and Charity. The two others are now running in the north east of England.