Europe’s most visible wind turbine was completed in November 2005 and has since become a major landmark for Reading. At 125 m tall, the 2MW state-of-the-art Ecotricity turbine is one of the largest land-based windmills in the UK, soaring above Junction 11 of the M4 motorway, and offering over 11 million people a year an inspiring view of a cleaner future. It can generate 4.5 million units (kWh) of green electricity every year, enough for around 1,500 new local homes and businesses.
The turbine is owned and operated by Ecotricity, an electricity supplier in the UK that builds wind turbines to supply clean energy to its thousands of customers across the country. Ecotricity is dedicated to fighting climate change through building attractive and sensitively sited wind parks. The Green Park turbine demonstrates Ecotricity’s preference to site turbines in commercial locations rather than areas of natural beauty.
The Visitor Centre:
To arrange a school or community group visit, please contact Ian Gough. Please note that visits are by appointment only.
T: +44 (0)7792 158530
Ian also runs a series of lectures aimed at local businesses and occupiers on the benefits of responsible, sustainable development.
Wind Turbine FAQs:
- The turbine produces electricity which feeds straight into the National Grid, about 70% of energy generated gets used in a two square mile radius around the turbine.
- The turbine produces electricity through the wind powering a generator unit.
- The turbine is 120 metres tall and weighs nearly 300 tonnes in weight.
- Each blade measures 35 metres.
- It will work in minimum wind speeds of 2 metres per second (equivalent to 4mph) and its maximum operating wind speed is 31 meters per second or 69 miles per hour. Anything above this wind speed and the turbine automatically shuts itself down.
- The turbine is designed to ‘flex’ in the wind and the blades are very flexible (made of Carbon Fibre).
- It’s classified as a 2 megawatt (peak) turbine; in general terms it can provide enough electricity for in between 1,000 and 1,300 average British households, averaged out, per annum (dependent upon wind speeds).
- The turbine is capable of facing into the wind, even if the wind changes direction, the turbine turns too! This means that the turbine can generate electricity wherever the wind comes from.
- It’s designed to last about 30 years.
- Contrary to popular myth turbines do not kill birds and modern turbines are not noisy.
- The windiest country in Europe is the UK.