Cornwall’s first smart grid-connected wind turbine is in place. A trial to test the concept of using a wind turbine to help smooth peaks and troughs in electricity supply and demand on the grid began earlier this month. Located in Cornwall in the southwest of England, the 2.3-megawatt turbine will generate enough electricity to power around 1,500 homes each year. But it will also test a solution to an issue that is increasingly affecting the U.K.’s clean energy transition: grid constraint. Cornwall is one of the sunniest and windiest regions of the U.K., and its high levels of renewable energy capacity have resulted in severe grid constraints. It is one of the reasons why no wind turbines have been installed there since 2016, alongside planning restrictions and the removal of government subsidies to the sector. Traditional network reinforcement is an expensive and lengthy process. However, utility Centrica has been leading trials to find more cost-effective solutions to grid constraints that boost the business case for renewable energy generation and storage at the same time. Centrica’s Cornwall Local Energy Market (LEM) project has installed solar panels, battery storage units and other smart energy devices at 100 homes and 125 businesses […]


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