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Glyndebourne wind turbine delivers record output

Our wind turbine generated its highest output to date during the year 2020.

The Glyndebourne wind turbine generated its highest output to date during 2020.

The 67 metre Enercon wind turbine was commissioned in 2012 following an analysis of Glyndebourne’s carbon emissions that revealed it was the single largest financially-viable initiative that could then be undertaken to reduce the organisation’s own-generated carbon footprint. Between 2012 and 2020, the turbine has generated the equivalent of 105% of the electricity used by the company in that period, far exceeding the 90% annual target and resulting in a 50% cut in carbon emissions.

In 2020 the turbine produced an annual yield of 1,820 megawatt-hours (MWh) with an average annual wind speed of 6.4 metres per second (m/s) – its biggest output to date. The previous record occured in 2015 when the turbine produced 1,769 MWh with an average wind speed of 6.5 m/s.

Due to the impact of lockdown, Glyndebourne used less electricity in 2020 than it would in an average year – the excess electricity generated by the turbine was sent to the National Grid to provide a source of green energy for the local community.

Galvanised by the success of the wind turbine, Glyndebourne continues to look for new and creative ways to cut its environmental footprint. Recent developments include:

  • Planning approval for a new event space at Glyndebourne that will be built following closed-loop, circular economy principles. The building’s materials, many of which are normally described as waste, will be sourced from the site or the surrounding area. These include wood from trees felled due to ash dieback, food waste such as oyster and lobster shells and corks. Work begins in September 2021 for completion in time for the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival.
  • A new partnership with OLIO to ensure surplus food is shared, not thrown away. To date Glyndebourne has donated a total of 365kg of food, helping to feed 62 local families and avoid 1,574kg of carbon emissions.

Longstanding initiatives undertaken by Glyndebourne include the replacement of auditorium and car park lights with low-energy LEDs, installation of timers and light sensors to ensure that lights are only in use when required, significantly improved recycling facilities and free on-site electric car charging for staff and visitors.

Glyndebourne is committed to continuing to improve its environmental performance and is part of the Spotlight Programme, which is being delivered by Julie’s Bicycle on behalf of Arts Council England (ACE). Over the next four years the programme is working closely with 30 of the UK’s largest arts organisations to achieve measurable reductions in energy use.

Glyndebourne is also supporting the Theatre Green Book initiative led by Theatres Trust to develop practical guidance to help theatres to be more sustainable.

In 2018 Glyndebourne was awarded the highest achievement for improvement prize at the Creative Green Awards, in recognition of its performance in cutting its environmental footprint.

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