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United Kingdom

Small turbines to South Africa

The 100th "household size" wind turbine made by Scottish company Proven Engineering Products has left its factory at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, destined for South Africa. The 2.5 kW turbine will be one of five installed in four villages near the Lubisi Dam in the Transkei mountains as part of a rural electrification program.

These first five turbines will provide electricity for running small wood working and sewing industries, and will power water pumps -- saving villagers from having to walk miles for water. One of the turbines will power an administration and visitor centre with telephones, computer and audio visual aids and showers. The project is being funded jointly by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, which is meeting half the cost, with the other half provided by Proven and Scottish Enterprise.

Most of the first 100 Proven 2.5 kW turbines are located throughout the UK -- from Cornwall to Shetland. But an increasing number are now being exported to far flung countries such as the US, Japan, New Zealand and even the Falkland Islands where, the company claims, they are ideally suited to the high winds and remote settlements.

To celebrate his 100th turbine, Gordon Proven will be hosting a traditional Scottish supper of Haggis, neeps and tatties in the Transkei when he commissions the machines in April.

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