The UK's first commercial megawatt scale wind turbine has begun operating in Norfolk on the English east coast. The 1.5 MW Enercon E-66 unit from Germany, installed at the Ecotech Centre in Swaffham, is the first to incorporate a viewing platform. Visitors to the centre will be able to climb 300 stairs located in the tower to the 66 metre high platform, giving unrivalled views of the Norfolk countryside and an opportunity to see the workings of a wind turbine from inside the machine.
The "Ecotricity" turbine was built by the Next Generation development group, based in Gloucester and formerly known as Western Windpower. Next is closely linked to the The Renewable Energy Company, a free market supplier of various forms of green electricity.
Both the E-66 turbine and the viewing platform were designed by British architects Foster & Partners-better known in non-wind industry circles for their revamp of the Berlin Reichstag building. The turbine has been designated an official Millennium Product by the British Design Council.
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