Attenborough launches iconic wind turbine at Glyndebourne

Glyndebourne's Wind Turbine View

Sir David Attenborough has today launched Glyndebourne's wind turbine endorsing the opera house as an environmental innovator in the arts community.

Glyndebourne is the first UK arts organisation to generate its own power using a large scale wind turbine and at the launch event at Glyndebourne, East Sussex, the 67 metre turbine was welcomed by supporters. Speaking at the launch Sir David Attenborough said: "Wind power can never provide for all our wants but every bit of power generated by wind must be welcomed. Even if we only generate a fraction of what our country needs in this way, then we must."

This year will see Glyndebourne's 2012 Festival as the first to run on wind power, with the turbine (commissioned in December 2011) contributing substantially to the Charity’s aspiration that 90% of the power required to stage Glyndebourne’s operas will be delivered sustainably through renewable energy.

Championed by Gus Christie, Glyndebourne's Executive Chairman, the turbine is a positive step towards Glyndebourne’s ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral. Mr Christie said: "I believe this turbine is symbolic of our age and an object of beauty as it harnesses the wind to provide sustainable power. We hope our turbine will inspire other organisations to explore ways in which they can directly reduce their carbon footprint."

The turbine provides Glyndebourne with the cleanest and most efficient natural energy with no fuel or waste-related costs. Furthermore, the investment is consistent with one of Glyndebourne’s core objectives - to maintain its financial independence by directly contributing to a significant reduction in annual electricity costs, in addition to generating income from the feed in tariff and through exporting surplus power to the national grid.

Glyndebourne will deliver community engagement activities that focus on promoting positive environmental actions and will educate local and regional groups on the benefits of renewable energy.

Launching the turbine alongside local environmental champion Verity Cannings, Sir David said: "Installing a wind turbine was the single most significant action that Glyndebourne could take to reduce its carbon emissions; we hope it could represent the start of a legacy for other arts organisations to explore practical ways of reducing their carbon footprint."

An Eco Rep at Ringer Community College, Verity, 16, drives forward her school’s environmental activities and believes in living a sustainable lifestyle. Attending the launch with her classmates Verity said: “To have an operational wind turbine so close to our school is fantastic, renewable energy is so important for the future and I am excited that Ringmer Community College is able to be here to see genuine environmental action being taken. Glyndebourne is inspiring local communities by exploring ways to reduce its carbon footprint and I hope other companies will follow its lead.”

See photos from the launch event

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