Tag Archives: wind farm

Half a million pounds to go green


As several people have pointed out, Greenwich Council are offering half a million pounds to five projects, including the Transition Westcombe Project. Now they have to decide how to bid for the money. I’m still not exactly sure how the Westcombe Park area is defined, but a good chunk of it seems to be Blackheath, so if you live nearby, why not suggest a few ideas.

My suggestion would be wind. Blackheath has a spectacular wind resource up on the heath. The problem would be how to use it without upsetting everyone. The climate camp really opened my eyes to how much wind was up there, and as frequent readers will know, I spent quite a bit of time up there, finding out what was going on.

The group who set up the wind turbines during the climate camp were called V3 Power, and whilst chatting to them, I learnt that they often hold workshops, to teach others how to build wind turbines. I wrote a transcription of the talk they gave during the climate camp. So I emailed them, and weeks later I received a message saying that they would be holding a Wind Turbine Workshop over a weekend in Shropshire, asking if I’d be interested.

Now, I figured that my craft skills pretty much ended aged 14 in a CDT class breaking a jigsaw on some MDF – not exactly impressive stuff. We never seemed to do anything more exciting than trying to build a clock at school. So this was well beyond anything I had any natural adaptation for. Windows Icon Mouse Pointer, yes. Angle Grinder, Set Square, Welder, Draw Knife, no.

But, I figured it would be interesting, and it’s always good to try new things. Plus it had the backing of Mrs Bugle. So off I went. The course was great – I’d recommend it to anyone who’s interested in these things – it couldn’t have been more hands on, met some lovely people, and the constant patience and enthusiasm of all involved was totally uplifting.

There are loads of videos here, in no particular order.

Anyway, I think it’s a great idea – it’s a great skill to have. So if Transition Westcombe find themselves richer to the tune of half a million, I’d suggest some windmills on the heath. They were there in the past – they could come back again.

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Build a wind farm on Blackheath!

Blackheath with wind turbines

The montage above was created by me back in January, as a way of playing with the idea of how a wind farm might look on the heath. So imagine how incredible it felt to be walking around seeing the real thing up on the heath today:

Wind Farm on Blackheath

I spoke to a couple of the people who built the wind turbines. Their organisation is called V3 Power, and they specialise in building renewable energy devices. They told me that the gospel book on how to build them is A Wind Turbine Recipe Book by Hugh Piggott which you can buy for £12. He highly recommended the website http://www.scoraigwind.com/

They currently have two turbines up in the air, whizzing away (he said that this spot is renowned for its wind, a point the Bugle can confirm from his kite adventures). They are hoping to put up two more tomorrow, and are currently charging four 12 volt car batteries at a time, which are then distributed around the camp when they are full, for music, computer use etc. They also have an inverter which allows them to create AC power, so that mains devices such as mobile phone chargers can be powered in the van – see below:

Wind Farm batteries on Blackheath

Wind Farm batteries on Blackheath

If you’re interested in finding out more, they are holding a workshop on Saturday at 4.30pm in the camp on Blackheath. See the map for the location. There are also loads of other events going on.

The montage at the top is based on a couple of images. The heath image is by Nicobobinus and the turbines are by jespis. Both are creative commons licensed, as is my montage.

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