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Record-setting wind energy powers ahead

Published 28/01/2011

Wind power broke all previous records in Northern Ireland last year, supplying as much as 51% of the region's electricity needs at one stage.

Records released by the System Operator of Northern Ireland (SONI) revealed that wind production for the 20-minute period from 4.35am to 4.55am on July 4 2010 met more than 50% of Northern Ireland's electricity need, producing 280MW at an electrical demand of 550MW.

Wind power supplied over 40% of the demand on the same day for more than three hours, between 3.30am and 6.45am. In 2010 wind power met 9% of Northern Ireland's total electricity demand.

At the time, the weather was windy with almost all turbines running at full output, but there was also low electrical demand on the system as it was at night-time and during the summer.

The highest electrical demand tends to come during the evening in winter. Typically wind turbines will be at maximum output for over 20% of the year, producing electricity for 75% of the year.

Andrew McMurray from renewable energy consultancy NRG Solutions said: "It is fantastic news to see this new recording being set."

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