REG Windpower has successfully financed its 10MW Sancton Hill Wind Farm, using a 10 year non-recourse debt facility from the Co-Op Bank. The wind regime was analysed on-site through a relatively novel approach, which utilised long-term reference data from short 16 metre met masts combined with a short ZephIR lidar deployment. ZephIR provides measurements up to 200 metres from installed level and importantly down to just 10 metres to provide on-site correlations with the short masts.
After having it agreed by some of the UKs leading wind consultants, this short mast + ZephIR methodology was adopted by REG Windpower in 2009 when a strategic approach to wind monitoring across the companys portfolio of sites (currently totalling some 11 operational wind farms and over 900MW in the pipeline) resulted in the purchase of three ZephIR lidars.
This ground-breaking approach to wind monitoring and energy yield assessment was used to create a bankable P90 Energy Yield Analysis report for the Sancton Hill project. This work was then subsequently used and relied upon by the Co-Op for the refinancing exercise.
Commenting on the project, REG Windpowers Wind Assessment Manager, Simon Pipkin noted: ZephIR was deployed on site with a low-cost, short mast for just 6 months and delivered the data we needed to reach financial close for Sancton Hill. This approach allowed us to start monitoring quickly without the need of a tall mast – which themselves encounter significant planning issues now and deliver bankable, finance-grade wind data to the Co-Op Bank to take the site forward in a timely, cost effective and safe manner. The wind speed recorded by the ZephIR deployed varied from the mast by just 0.9% during the correlation period which is far better than often found when comparing two cup anemometers.
REG Windpower is one of the countrys leading developer and operators of small to medium-sized wind farms and with the help of Prevailing is now using ZephIR extensively across the portfolio of sites for both financing projects and in noise monitoring campaigns due to the ability for fast deployments on site and for short periods of time. An additional site, Orchard End Wind Farm in Lancashire, will be financed using the short mast + ZephIR methodology in the near future and a further 3-4 wind farms to follow.
On the announcement, Ian Locker, MD at Zephir Ltd. commented: Having worked with REG Windpower since 2009, we are very pleased to see the financial close of Sancton Hill Wind Farm utilising this novel approach to collecting finance-grade wind data which replaces the need, and cost, of a traditional tall met mast.