A small wind turbine specially conceived for operation in urban areas has been installed in France. The 6 kW unit from WindWall BV of the Netherlands is sited on the roof of a seafront apartment block at Equihen-Plage, near Boulogne-sur-Mer on the English Channel coast. H2 Développement, the consultancy firm which developed the project, says the turbine will provide around 8000 kWh a year, enough to provide lighting for the common areas of two apartment blocks. To ensure a constant supply, the electricity will be sold to EDF and bought back by Pas-de-Calais Habitat, which manages the apartments. H2 Développement says the turbine is quiet, easy to install and unobtrusive. The only drawback is that it has a fixed orientation which reduces power generation by 20-50%. The EUR 70,000 pilot project is co-financed by government energy agency ADEME, the regional authority and Pas-de-Calais Habitat. It is expected to recoup its costs over 15 years.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol