An Ayrshire-based green energy company is hoping to recruit 3000 UK farmers for a major “windcrofting” project involving small clusters of high performance, mini-wind farms.

According to Gordon Proven, managing director of Proven Energy, farmers who take part could see their farm electricity bills reduced by as much as 50% as well as receiving a rental fee for the location of about five small wind turbines on each farm.

Each 15kW turbine has a 9m rotor diameter and is 14.9m high.

“The beauty of this sort of small scale wind farming is that it doesn’t interfere with the landscape.

The idea is that the wind turbines will produce more energy than the farm requires and the excess will go via the grid to urban areas.

Collectively the power produced would be equivalent to one nuclear power station,” Mr Proven told Farmers Weekly.

The turbines have an expected life-span of 25 years before refurbishment is required and, because of their smaller size, there is no need for large-scale specialist machinery to install them or road upgrades.

The turbines would, however, have to be located reasonably close to farm buildings and within 500m of a grid connection.

Five turbines can be installed within a day using a lorry with crane and the noise issue which has caused concern with large turbines is not a problem with these smaller versions, said Mr Proven.

carolmclaren@lineone.net