Three billion boiled kettles later and the UK's first commercial wind farm is celebrating a quarter of a century of generating renewable power. It is 25 years since turbines were first switched on - on December 21 1991 - at Delabole Wind Farm on the north Cornwall coast, generating power for 2,700 homes a year. Since then, the UK wind industry has grown from Delabole's 10 turbines to more than 1,000 commercial-scale onshore and offshore projects that generate enough electricity to power 9.5 million homes a year.
This is an incredible achievement for the renewable industry – and a big moment for Delabole.
Since the turbines started turning, renewable technologies have come a long way, with wind power generating a record-breaking 12% of the UK’s electricity in 2015.
The success of the wind farm has largely been down to the support of the local community who are the real custodians of this site.
It’s thanks to them and their belief in the project, that has helped make Delabole the perfect model for further wind power developments here in the UK.
– Juliet Davenport, Chief Executive Good Energy
Across the UK, using wind has avoided burning more than 106 million tonnes of coal over the past 25 years, industry body RenewableUK said – with 58 million tonnes displaced from 2013 to 2015 as wind power boomed.
Wind power is now a mainstream power source in Britain, outperforming and replacing old-fashioned coal.
It’s a crucial part of our new energy system, which is designed to deliver the energy the country needs in the smartest way possible.