BSkyB’s new wind turbine is not ‘token’, says Arup Associates’ Mike Beavan
The prevailing view is that urban wind turbines are not economically viable. Remember it was just in 2010 that the ODA dropped the proposed 130m turbine from the Eton Manor site at the Olympic Park. So Footprint put to Arup Associates some additional questions about their new 18m wind turbine recently completed at the BSkyB Studio in west London.
BSkyB’s initial brief for SkyStudios was for a sustainable HQ which would minimise energy use throughout and maximise the use of appropriate renewable energy on the site. The building’s electricity supply is powered by wood chip-fired biomass CCHP, and waste energy is used to heat and cool the building.
‘A wind turbine was the only renewable which made sense. It is not token or notional,’ says Mike Beavan, the Arup Associates engineer responsible for the project. According to Beaven, embodied energy was calculated and considered in final the decision to proceed with the turbine. The ‘carbon payback’ for the turbine and its structure is estimated at 2.4 years.
When asked what percentage of the building’s load is met by the wind turbine, Beavan explains that due to the building’s high intensity functions which include data centres and recording studios, it is misleading to represent the contribution of the wind turbine as a percentage of overall energy use. The turbine is predicted to produce approximately 133,100 kWh per year, which is roughly equivalent to 55 to 60 per cent of Harlequin 1’s annual office lighting requirement.
The turbine design is bespoke and was developed in collaboration with manufacturer, Northern Wind. The turbine’s power output is currently exceeding expectations, delivering significant energy at relatively low wind-speeds. Read more here.