About our energy production

How often are the numbers updated?

Every 30 seconds or so – the page is generally refreshed each time we receive new data from one of our sites.

The system is currently offline, what’s happened?

It’s most likely because we’re not receiving data from our windmills, which use a mobile phone signal to transmit the data. When this happens the system temporarily suspends itself. It’ll re-start once the connection is established again.

It says only 33 of 53 windmills are online. Does that mean the wind isn’t blowing across a large amount of the country?

No, it’s probably due to a problem with the data being sent back to us from the wind parks. Some of our larger wind parks, like Fen Farm, only have a couple of transmitters to send the data. If both happen to go offline at the same time we lose all the data from that site – that’s 20 windmills worth and over a quarter of our total generation capacity.

If 55 windmills have the capacity to generate over 60,000kW why are they generating a much lower figure?

The total capacity of a windmill is the upper limit for how much it could generate if the wind was blowing constantly and the windmill turning at full pelt. But the wind doesn’t always blow at gale force speeds (thankfully) and some days are calmer than others.

Onshore windmills across the UK typically generate around 27 per cent of the full amount they could produce if the wind was blowing constantly over the course of a year – this is called ‘the load factor’. Off-shore wind has a load factor of around 35 per cent. In 2012, conventional power stations had load factors of 30 per cent for gas, 70 percent for nuclear and 57 per cent for coal.

Why does it read kW and not kWh like my electricity bill?

These numbers are a snapshot of how much wind energy is being generated at a specific point in time. If the readout shows 1,000 kW is being generated and the windmills generate that same amount for an hour then 1,000 kWh is generated in total. 1,000kWh is the same as one MWh.

Homer Simpson

"And Lord, we are especially thankful for nuclear power, the cleanest, safest energy source there is. Except for solar, which is just a pipe dream."

Homer Simpson