CITY pensioners have gone “green” . . . after rooftop wind turbines were installed above their homes.
Dunedin Canmore Housing Association has installed the two “silent” devices above sheltered housing blocks in the Gorgie/Dalry area of Edinburgh.
The electricity generated is being used to power common lighting around the blocks. Over time this could reduce the overall service charges being passed on to residents – as well as the properties’ impact on the environment.
The two turbines have just been installed at Stenhouse Mill Wynd, off Gorgie Road, and Fraser Court, near Haymarket. If successful, the green scheme could be rolled out to other Association developments around the city.
Alan Davidson, the Association’s community initiatives officer, said: “Each turbine is expected to produce an annual energy supply of around 3000 kilowatt hours.
“It’s early days, but we would hope to pass on savings to residents – at the same time reducing the amount of CO2 gasses produced in supplying power to Association properties.”
The cost of installing the two turbines was offset by grants from the Government agency Communities Scotland and the Energy Savings Trust. Renewable Devices Ltd. – the Edinburgh company that makes the turbines -also supplied the equipment at a discounted rate.
Added Alan: “We think these types of turbines will become more commonplace around our towns and cities. In time, installation costs will come down and make these even more attractive to householders.”
He added: “Hopefully in seven years, these two turbines will have paid for themselves and be producing ‘free’, green electricity – at the same time offsetting our normal energy requirements.”
The turbines being used are described by their manufacturers as the world’s “first silent, building-mountable wind turbines”. They have been installed in rural homes in Scotland, but this is the first time a housing association has used the technology in a Scottish city.
Residents approve of the green scheme. Pensioner James McInnes lives at Fraser Court, just below one of the turbines. “I don’t hear it,” he said, “and it is rght outside my window. I think it’s a good thing, particularly if it reduces the bills for the tenants. We should adopt more of these things, particularly if it reduces climate change.”
Mr McInnes used to work in the fishing industry – at one time travelling to the Antarctic. “When you see these polar ice caps melting, it makes you think about global warming. It’s quite frightening,” he said.
Mary Stewart, one of the tenants at Stenhouse Mill Wynd, added: “If the turbine helps save the tenants money and helps the environment that has to be a good thing. There doesn’t seem to be any noise from the turbine.”
Dunedin Canmore aims to incorporate green features into all of its new developments. The Association was behind the â€œcar-freeâ€ housing development at Slateford Green in Edinburgh and also used solar panels to provide heating and hot water for its new HQ in New Mart Road in Edinburgh.
Said Alan: “We’re committed to reducing our impact on the environment in everything we do.”
Dunedin Canmore was formed in April last year as the result of a merger between Canmore and Dunedin Housing Associations. The not-for-profit body now manages around 4000 homes around Edinburgh, West Lothian and Fife.
The Association currently has a turnover of around £12 million a year and has assets worth around £176 million. As well as families, it provides housing and support to single people, couples, the elderly, wheelchair users and ethnic minorities. It works in partnership with a wide range of agencies including local councils and the government agency Communities Scotland. You can find out more about the Association online at http://www.dunedincanmore.org.uk/
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