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Launch of rooftop wind turbine pilot


The first installation of a world-leading rooftop turbine took place today at a Fife school.

One rooftop turbine is being installed at each of five Fife Primary schools in the new pilot, and if successful, the turbines could be sited on houses and buildings across Scotland.

The revolutionary Swift turbine has been developed by Edinburgh company Renewable Devices Limited, and is at the cutting edge of global renewables technology.

Speaking at Collydean Primary School, Glenrothes, Deputy Enterprise Minister Lewis Macdonald said:

"This is an exciting development and I'm delighted that a leading edge Scottish company is at the forefront of this research and development.

"This is a great example of Scottish innovation at its best and, if the Fife pilot is successful, there is the potential for green jobs for Scotland.

"These small turbines can be installed on roofs in urban or rural environments and directly power the building with no need to feed into the grid. This could have far reaching implications for the way we use green energy across Scotland.

"I'm also pleased that children at the schools involved are so enthusiastic about the project and I am impressed with their level of knowledge of and support for renewable energy," he said.

The turbines were developed by Renewable Devices Limited with £45,000 funding from the Executive's SMART and SPUR award schemes.

The trial launched by Mr Macdonald today involves one Swift Rooftop Wind Energy System being installed in each of five Fife Primary schools, in a joint initiative funded by the Executive (£15,000) through the Scottish Community and Household Renewables Initiative, Renewable Devices (£15,000), ScottishPower (£15,000) and Fife Council (£5,000).

Each turbine can generate up to 4000 kW hours of green electricity each year, saving up to 1720kg carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas and cutting the school's energy bill by up to £284. They generate minimal vibration.

Pupils at Collydean Primary School have been working on projects about the turbine being installed on the roof of their school.

Rebekah Brown, a Primary 7 pupil said :
"Putting up a wind turbine saves money and energy. Not only that, but our environment is also being helped. So if everyone was to make an effort to help a little bit, lots of the little bits could make a big difference."

David Anderson of Renewable Devices said :
"Renewable Devices is extremely pleased to be installing one of the first Swift Rooftop Wind Energy Systems. With the help of the Executive, the company has grown very quickly since its inception 2 years ago and is now a major presence in the Scottish renewable energy industry.

"The company's philosophy of making renewable energy technology more accessible is perfectly encapsulated in this pilot project which provides enormous educational potential, as well as significant environmental benefits."

The project will be monitored and evaluated and the company anticipate going into large scale production within 12 months. Prices for installation should start at around £1500.

Claire Doherty, ScottishPower's Green Product Manager, said:
"The ScottishPower Green Energy Trust is delighted to be supporting this revolutionary project which we hope will go a long way towards creating environmental benefits for people living in Fife.

"Since 1998, the Trust has successfully increased our use and knowledge of renewable energy by providing grants totaling over £450,000 towards more than 50 similar projects throughout the UK, helping to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and tackling climate change."

Mike Thornton, Head of Energy Saving Trust Scotland said:
"Renewable energy doesn't have to be large scale; renewables can reduce energy bills for householders, schools and village halls to name but a few. This project shows that the Scottish renewables industry is delivering new products which meet the needs of the small scale user.

"We expect small wind turbines to become an increasingly common sight throughout the country."

The Scottish Executive is committed to increasing the amount of electricity generated in Scotland from renewable sources to 40 percent by 2020.

The Scottish Community and Householder Renewables Initiative (SCHRI) was launched by the Scottish Executive in January 2003 to support the development of small scale renewable energy projects in Scotland. £5 million is available under the SCHRI to 2005. SCHRI is managed jointly by the Energy Saving Trust in Lowland Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise in the Highlands and Islands.

Renewables Devices Limited was founded in May 2002 by Dr Charles Silverton and Dr David E. Anderson and provides accessibole renewable energy solutions through its product development and consultancy services. In less than one year the company became a sustainable business and, with the help of £45,000 SMART and SPUR awards from the Executive has developed the world's first silent rooftop-mountable wind energy system - the Swift Rooftop Wind Energy System.

The system can provide electricity to heat domestic hot water, providing electrical generation that reduces fuel costs without disrupting the grid supply.

ScottishPower's Green Energy Trust supports the development of new renewable energy sources in the UK by offering grants to a wide range of projects that will increase the use and knowledge of renewable energy.

In addition to the environmental benefits, Fife Council also considers wind turbines as valuable resources in supporting energy and environmental areas of the education curriculum. The data and information available from the operation of the turbine will be used by school children in their practical studies in these areas.

The SMART and SPUR schemes are the Executive's foremost policy instruments for supporting near-market research and development projects by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMART is for a technical and commercial feasibility study. SMEs successfully completing their projects and require additional assistance to develop a pre-production prototype can apply for further funding under the SPUR scheme.