BBC world service turns to island wind power

The BBC World Service has installed wind turbines at a transmission site on a remote South Atlantic island to save money on diesel fuel and cut carbon, it has been announced.

The ageing energy technology on the site on Ascension Island was powered by diesel which had to be shipped to the island by tanker.

The new hybrid wind/diesel power station is expected to save approximately £500,000 a year in fuel, and reduce the frequency of tanker deliveries to every 18 months. Since being installed, the turbines have been generating around 205,000 kWh - saving roughly 57,500 litres of diesel, according to consultancy AEA which helped the BBC install the renewable technology.

The BBC's Bob Hammond said: "When it came to modernising our Ascension Island site, the BBC was very keen to exploit the natural resources of the island and to find a way of making the site more sustainable."

He added: "Since the new turbines have been up and running, we estimate we will save around £500,000 each year on diesel costs and cut our carbon emissions by approximately 3,500 tonnes a year."

Giles Barwell, client director at AEA, said the project was hugely challenging due to Ascension's environment and location as a volcanic island with no deep water port.

But he said: "Now that the new technology is up and running it will deliver clean renewable power to the island and significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with transmitting the World Service into Africa."

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