Sustainability : ‘Try Before You Buy’ Wind Turbine At Glastonbury Festival

A huge pink and purple, temporary wind turbine that was erected to help provide Glastonbury Festival with green energy will also act as a ‘try before you buy’ promotion for similar turbines to be set up in other UK sites. 

Turbine + Solar Panels Feeds Super Low-Carbon Energy Microgrid 

The 20-metre-high wind turbine with 8 metre blades provided by Octopus Energy was erected in a day in William’s Green field, near the famous Pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Festival, site and has provided the energy for thousands of green, clean snacks and meals for over 200,000 festival-goers. An extra bank of solar panels to complement the wind turbine, plus a battery to store the green energy produced, helped supply clean energy to the Festival’s own microgrid. This supplied power from super low-carbon energy to the stalls and equipment for food vendors in the field and is produced up to 300kWh of energy per day – enough to power 300 fridges. 

Try Before You Buy 

With the festival now over, the fact that the huge turbine is temporary, was only ordered in April, and once shipped to the Glastonbury site it only took 2 weeks to build the parts, and just one day to erect it are to be used by Octopus Energy to offer other communities the chance to host the Glasto turbine and use it as a kind of ‘try before you buy’. For example, a community anywhere in the country could (if considerations and connections allow) have the famous turbine erected and could therefore see how it can create energy bill savings for people in the area e.g., 20 per cent discount on any electricity used when the local turbine starts turning, rising to 50 per cent when it really picks up. The fact that it’s the same turbine that at Glastonbury Festival and is decorated with the design of Octopus tentacles wrapped around its purple tower and pink blades could also make it a bit of a visual point of interest to. 


Existing Octopus customers on and Octopus ‘Fan Club’ tariff members can request a turbine for their community. So far, as part of ‘Fan Club’ initiative, which brings together thousands of small generation projects into one ‘giant wind farm’, 20,000 people have requested a turbine. If their request is accepted and one is deployed, it could turn out to be the now famous Glastonbury turbine. 

Traditional Turbines 

Generally, it takes several weeks to several months to complete the entire process from the start of site preparation to the commissioning a wind turbine that’s intended to be permanent. Getting the chance to host a temporary one that can be erected (and dismantled again) very quickly, therefore, is an idea that could help promote and speed up the adoption of green power around the UK. The benefits (combined with e.g., solar) could be not just cheaper bills but carbon reduction, reduced stress on the grid, the chance to meet environmental targets more quickly, less reliance on fossil fuels (coal and oil), reduced vulnerability to price hikes caused by overseas wars and markets, and a more sustainable energy system. 

The UK Is Suited To More Wind Power 

The fact that the UK is an island nation with a long coastline, with strong and consistent wind resources, particularly in coastal areas provides ample opportunities for offshore wind farms. Offshore wind resources tend to be stronger and more consistent compared to onshore wind, making it an attractive option for harnessing wind energy. The prevailing westerly winds that blow across the Atlantic Ocean to the UK make the country ideal for capturing wind energy and the relatively high wind speeds contribute to the efficiency and productivity of wind turbines. 

What Does This Mean For Your Organisation? 

This is essentially a ‘try before you buy’ promotion for wind power (and Octopus’s services) and the chance of hosting Glastonbury’s turbine sounds like an ingenious way of widening the clean energy network. Having a temporary structure that is quick to deploy and the fact that it is temporary sounds like a good way to counter objections to turbines in an area and win over local people e.g., see how one looks, sounds, and helps with savings. It may also be an effective way for helping Octopus underline and promote its green credentials and branding, and to expand its ‘Fan Club’ one-giant-wind-farm scheme. As an island nation with a long coastline and no shortage of wind it makes sense to utilise this abundant natural resource to move to a greener and more sustainable future for energy. 

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