First Council-Owned Wind Farm in UK

This week, Bristol’s mayor, George Ferguson, unveiled the UK’s very first Local Council owned and operated wind farm at Avonmouth, South West England, known as the Avonmouth Wind Power Project. Once commissioned and connected to the grid next month they will become the Council’s largest source of renewable energy.  The placing of the farm is also unusual; it will be sited on a disused oil tanker at the mouth of the River Avon. Bristol City Council may be the first, but they won’t be the last as local governments speed ahead with their plans to cut carbon emissions and be  energy-independent.


The Bristol City Council wind farm will generate 5MW from two Nordex wind turbines. This will be enough power for 2,500 local homes. More about the unusual location: The twin turbines are secured on a former Shell petroleum tanker that was abandoned, but not scrapped in the 1970s.

This, and other schemes such as a series of biomass boilers in the South West area of the City, have led to Bristol City Council being named the European Union’s Green Capital for 2015

The Mayor said:

“This is a bold, innovative public project which I’m proud to see in Bristol. It’s with a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit that we have made this unique investment, which will both provide an additional source of revenue and reduce our carbon footprint.” It’s this kind of trail-blazing by my predecessors which has secured our spot as the European Green Capital for 2015, by which time of course we’ll be reaping the full benefits of running the country’s first council-owned wind farm.’

INDICATIVE view 1 - Severn Beach, A403 over M49_0

How will it work? Simple. The wind power generated will be sold by Bristol Council directly to the local grid while further cash will be raised from funding sources such as ‘feed in’ energy tariffs. It will be operated by Nordex UK limited on a 15 year operation and maintenance agreement.

So what do we refer to the windfarm? It’s not onshore, because it is not on terra firma. But it is not offshore as it is so close to the shore. Maybe we need a new term for these inner coastal ship-secured wind farms. Any ideas? Upon-Shore? Beached Farms? Transformed Tanker Turbines?


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