In its second year of operation, the Glyndebourne wind turbine exceeds its target

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Newly released figures show that the Glyndebourne wind turbine has exceeded its target in its second year of operation.

In the 12 months to January 2014, the turbine generated enough energy to cover 102% of the organisation’s electricity needs, surpassing the projected target of 90%. Any power that isn’t used by Glyndebourne is exported to the local grid to provide a source of renewable energy for the community.

The result was achieved in spite of an increase in the number of performances at the opera house in 2013 and is due in part to an increase in output but more fundamentally to the success of a continued energy-saving drive across the organisation. The introduction of motion sensors to control lights and the installation of energy efficient boilers are two examples of actions Glyndebourne has taken which have contributed to a 3% reduction in its electricity use in the past year.

In addition, the turbine experienced a higher average wind speed in 2013 than in its first year of operation, though still lower than the average wind speed for the 16 years running up to 2008; the figure on which Glyndebourne based its predictions for the turbine’s output.

During the past twelve month period, the turbine has achieved an annual yield of 1,555 megawatt-hours (MWh) with average annual wind speeds of 5.87 metres per second.

In the twenty-four months since the turbine was launched by Sir David Attenborough, it has provided 95% of the organisation’s electricity needs.

Gus Christie, Executive Chairman of Glyndebourne Productions said:

“We’re absolutely delighted with the success of the wind turbine to date and the fact that these results have been achieved in years of below average wind speed bodes well for the ongoing success of the initiative. As well as providing us with a source of renewable energy, the turbine acts as a permanent reminder of our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint and has helped drive forward an energy saving programme which has already resulted in a 3% reduction in our energy use. We will continue to find additional ways to further reduce our impact on the environment.”

Alongside efforts to increase its energy efficiency Glyndebourne is working to address other aspects of its environmental impact such as waste disposal and staff and audience travel.

Glyndebourne’s comprehensive efforts in this area were acknowledged last summer when it was awarded 3 stars for its Industry Green certification by charitable environmental organisation Julie’s Bicycle. Glyndebourne is one of only seven organisations from across the creative industries in the UK to have been awarded 3 star status.

Alison Tickell, CEO of Julie’s Bicycle, said:

“These great results from Glyndebourne show how the combination of sustainable technology and organisational culture can bring huge added value to sustainability initiatives: not content to focus on securing their energy supply, Glyndebourne is also tackling its energy demand. The fantastic results are being felt locally and across the wider artistic community, with more arts organisations investing in renewables every year.”