Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes

April 20, 2017 by  
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Scotland’s Berwickshire Housing Association wants to capture the wind to boost their mission. By launching a new wind farm in the Scottish Borders, and selling the power to the National Grid, the charitable organization hopes to generate enough revenue to build 500 affordable homes over the next 25 years. Dubbed Fishermen Three, the 7.5-megawatt project at Hoprigshiels in Cockburnspath is a joint effort between BHA and the equally philanthropic Community Energy Scotland . The latter’s share of the revenue will enable it to help communities across Scotland leverage their own renewable energy initiatives. “The idea for the wind farm came when BHA realized that we had to be innovative in order to solve the dilemma of how to keep building new homes for social rental, which are so badly needed in this area, at a time when funding for new housing through traditional channels was in decline,” Helen Forsyth, chief executive of BHA, said in a statement. “The wind farm will provide BHA with a reliable, predictable, low-maintenance source of income that will allow us to build a steady stream of new affordable homes at a time when services are all too often being cut.” Related: 6 reasons the clean energy revolution doesn’t need Trump’s blessing Nicholas Gubbins, chief executive of CES, said that the United Kingdom’s energy system is shifting, but with changes come fresh opportunities. “We want to make sure that communities are at the forefront of the opportunities that this will create for new low-carbon energy developments,” he added. Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, agrees that renewables are the way of the future. He said, “Locally owned renewables in areas such as the Borders have the potential to help drive social, economic and environmental change at a local level.” Via the Guardian Photos by Unsplash

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Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes

Tiny bacteria ‘wind farms’ could power your smartphone

July 12, 2016 by  
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Bacteria are often associated with disease – but in the future they could serve as a potent power source. University of Oxford researchers recently used bacteria to spin rotors in tiny ‘ wind farms ‘ – and they think these microscopic engines could power small electronic components like smartphone microphones. If you’ve ever looked at bacteria under a microscope, you’ve probably seen a lot of random movement. Under ordinary circumstances, there’s not yet a way to get power from that spontaneous motion. Oxford researchers immersed a ” lattice of 64 symmetric microrotors ” into fluid filled with bacteria, and found the bacteria organized their movement in such a way that the microrotors spun in opposite directions – kind of like a wind farm. This organized movement creates a steady stream of power. Related: Can bacteria help curb the spread of the Zika virus? The paper’s co-author Tyler Shendruk said in an Oxford press release , “When we did the simulation with a single rotor in the bacterial turbulence, it just got kicked around randomly. But when we put an array of rotors in the living fluid, they suddenly formed a regular pattern, with neighboring rotors spinning in opposite directions.” We probably won’t be powering homes with bacteria any time soon – but this teeny power source could be beneficial for micromachines . The team said these little wind farms could also drive ” devices that are self-assembled and self-powered .” Another paper co-author, Julia Yeomans, said ” Nature is brilliant at creating tiny engines, and there is enormous potential if we can understand how to exploit similar designs.” + Science Advances Via Gizmag Images via Sumesh P. Thampi1, Amin Doostmohammadi, Tyler N. Shendruk, Ramin Golestanian, and Julia M. Yeomans

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Tiny bacteria ‘wind farms’ could power your smartphone

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