News

Latest Endurance News

2nd February, 2017

A copy of the correspondence to customers sent out by Earthmill’s Managing Director Steve Milner, providing an update regarding Endurance Wind Power.


 

Hi All,

 

I’m conscious that I haven’t sent an update out since December on Endurances insolvency and the various challenges this created.

 

Parts availability: 

In my view this was the single most important issue, for example: The E series consist of 7600 separate parts 80 of which are bespoke, ongoing access is critical for the machines maintenance scheduled or otherwise. Earthmill have been working with the 3 other authorised service providers (Aeolus, Natural generation and Silverford), pooling our resources to set up a part supply operation which we completed early January. This will give us a central UK facility that can access and source all the known parts for the E series and X series turbines. Our aim is to have the top 100 items in stock and on hand for our combined fleet of 700 turbines 

 

Endurance sale:

Grant Thornton were appointed as the Administrator for both the UK and Canadian business. They initially failed to find a buyer for the whole business as a going concern and have since broken the business up in to various parts to sell off.

A key part of the sale was the existing turbine parts inventory, within the UK operation there was over £600k of turbine parts which I’m very pleased to confirm we have successfully bid for. We are currently in the process of checking the inventory at the factory and transferring across to the new parts operation. This gives us a great starting inventory for the parts operation.

 

Service and maintenance charges:

Our standard service and maintenance contract covers the costs of all scheduled servicing (excluding consumables and parts), however if you do require engineers on site outside of normal servicing, visits are chargeable. Fees are based on two climbing engineers on site, Initial call out charge and first hour on site:  £180, thereafter hourly rate of £110 Ex Vat. Our typical call out ratio is 1 site visit per turbine per year. That said 9 out of 10 issues can be resolved remotely via the office team, if however we do need to attend site we will always aim to discuss any charges with you in advance.

 

Insurance:

Certain insurers have been requesting that clients have an O&M contract in place with ourselves or one of the other ASP’s mentioned above before they will renew a policy, we have been in touch with all clients who needed a new contract if we haven’t spoken to you then please don’t be concerned as this just means you’re existing service agreement is sufficient.

 

Earthmill:

The new government was fairly quick to cut back on renewable support, which effectively stopped the on shore wind industry in its tracks. As result we have spent the last 18 months restructuring the business around the service and maintenance of existing clients.  We currently maintain over 250 Endurance turbines and have expanded our service team/office support to ensure that we are able to offer the support levels required.

 

If you do require any further information on your existing service contract or any other related issues please feel free to call the operations team on 01937 581011 or send us and email.

Regards

Steve Milner

News

Latest news regarding Endurance Wind Power

8th November, 2016

 


Farmers Guardian Insight: Wind Turbine owners offered support after collapse of manufacturer Endurance. The five Endurance Authorised Service Providers (ASPs), which are all independently owned businesses based in the UK, have agreed to provide continuing support to all the firm’s UK customers, and to ensure stocks of spares and parts will remain readily available read more.

Vancouver Sun: A bankruptcy notice on the front door of Endurance Wind Power in the Campbell Heights industrial area on 24th Ave. near 192 St. confirms that the company’s operations are now being overseen by trustee Grant Thornton Ltd read more.

Farmers Weekly: Farmers and landowners with turbines built by Endurance have been assured they will get continued technical support after the Canadian manufacturer was declared bankrupt last week. It is understood that manufacturer warranties on turbines bought through the Canadian parent firm (namely E-Series turbines) and no longer valid, while the future for X-Series warranties depends on the fate of the UK arm of Endurance read more.

 

News

Endurance Update

7th November, 2016

A copy of the correspondence to customers sent out today by Earthmill’s Managing Director Steve Milner, providing an update regarding Endurance Wind Power.


Dear Sir / Madam,

I’m writing to inform you that unfortunately Endurance’s Canadian operation was closed last week and have ceased trading. I understand that an administrator has been appointed and we anticipate an announcement regarding the future of their UK subsidiary within the coming days.

This situation is still not fully understood as we have had no UK announcement, however I didn’t want to leave it any longer to communicate the situation to our clients. The main impact should Endurance UK follow Canada is parts availability (for the bespoke parts) and the loss of a manufacturer warranty.

I appreciate this is a concerning situation for you as turbine owners, but please rest assured we are working hard to make sure we have as much in place as possible to limit any impact of this change. We are currently working with the 4 other approved maintenance companies with a plan to pool our resources to source and hold key parts, equipment and host monitoring software to ensure we can continue to fully support our and your turbines.

Our immediate objective is to establish what is happening to the UK operation and limit the impact this will have on supply chain and client support. Therefore I would hope to update you on the situation as the week progresses; as soon as we get more news will update you. If you wish to call to discuss in more detail with myself or the team please call the office on 01937581011.

Regards,
Steve Milner

News

Earthmill announced as Endurance Authorised Service Provider

14th June, 2016

Earthmill are proud to announce that they have been selected by Endurance Wind Power as an Authorised Service Provider (ASP) for the E-3120 wind turbine for the North of England and Wales.

Whether you are coming to the end of your warranty period or simply looking for a better service which won’t affect your manufacturer warranty, Earthmill have a service and maintenance package to suit you.

 By choosing a selected ASP to manage your turbine you will unlock a number of benefits that are otherwise unavailable allowing for greater availability levels and ultimately a better return on investment.

  1. Increased Parts Availability – With over £25,000 worth of spare parts and consumables kept in stock and fast track priority access to Endurance’s UK warehouse – You’ll spend less time waiting for parts and more time generating power.
  2. Specially Trained Technicians – Our ASP technicians & engineers are trained to the highest level by Endurance to perform work such as laser alignment and blade swaps which can usually only be performed by the manufacturers.
  3. 24 hour remote monitoring & technical support – Your turbine’s health and performance will be monitored around the clock, 24 hours a day with Earthmill monitoring live from our head office control centre during office hours and Endurance taking over outside of these times. In the majority of cases we are able to restart your machine remotely resulting in less down time.
  4. Fast Response – In the event that a site visit is required, all our engineers carry vehicle trackers which allow us to deploy them efficiently as possible,
  5. Pre warranty Inspection – Prior to the end of your warranty period, Earthmill technicians will carry out a comprehensive inspection & health report on your turbine checking its key components and assessment of the generation performance compared against the manufacturer’s power curve. Any issues found will be registered with the manufacturer for rectification under the original warranty program and remedied as soon as possible.
  6. Scheduled Maintenance – Earthmill engineers will provide scheduled servicing and report in line with the manufacturer’s current guidelines at the prescribed service intervals, typically every 5000 rotational hours. 
  7. Unscheduled Maintenance – The service agreement provides for up to 2 unscheduled visits to site each year or 16 hours on site (whichever the greater).
  8. Free Software Updates – Endurance will provide free software for you to monitor the performance of your turbine from anywhere in the world as well as free turbine software updates as released which can improve performance and efficiency. 
  9. Better Export Rates – Export rates constantly change and we work with a number of suppliers pooling our turbines to secure the best rate available, whilst this may be fractions of a penny it all adds up. On average a 1p increase in export is worth £1500 per annum for a low energy user.
  10. Business Rate Management & Insurance Advice – Business rates demands vary depending on location. We have successfully advised and negotiated down a number of business rate demands clients have received. With ASP Earthmill will ensure you are getting the best rates possible. Getting the best insurance rates and more importantly the correct level of cover is also another added saving and area we regularly advise on.

Whilst all of the above sounds impressive, the proof is in our track record. Whilst the industry average for turbine availability is 95%, Earthmill maintain a 98% average. This additional availability is worth on average £1,200 to each of our customers every year.

To find out more about how you can benefit by changing your wind turbine service provider to an ASP, please call 01937 581011 or fill out our online contact form and we will contact you.

News

How does a biomass CHP plant work?

5th May, 2016

The Arbor ElectroGen 45 biomass CHP plant generates both heat and electricity by gasifying sustainably sourced woodchips at high temperatures. Woodchips (or ‘woody biomass’) are fed into the plant automatically from the hopper, at which point the gasification process begins:

 

The Arbor ElectroGen gasifies fuel at a high enough temperature that virtually zero tar, nitrates or particulates are produced during the process, resulting in exceptionally low emissions. 

A high energy and heat user can expect a yearly net benefit from a single CHP plant of approximately £97,000.

News

New engineering appointment boosts CHP team

20th April, 2016

Nigel FarrEarthmill has expanded its specialist CHP team with the appointment of a new heating design engineer.

Nigel Farr has joined the business to focus on Earthmill’s newest area of expertise, combined heat and power (CHP), which is delivering high efficiency renewable energy to farms and businesses across Yorkshire, Cheshire and Mid and North Wales.

Nigel has moved his family to Yorkshire from Cornwall to take up the position with Earthmill. Originally from Doncaster, he has 27 years’ engineering experience, including five years in the renewables sector, working for environmental technology businesses including South West-based Eco Nrg.

He said: “Earthmill’s expertise in the farm-scale wind turbine sector is second to none, and the company is fast gaining a reputation for excellence at the cutting edge of new CHP technology. It’s an exciting time to be joining the business as they make real strides in this exciting new low-carbon field and I’m looking forward to working with farmers and other businesses to help them tap into this fantastic green resource.”

Steve Milner, Earthmill managing director, said: “Although still relatively new to the UK market, CHP is taking off fast, particularly among high energy consumers such as pig and poultry farmers. Its ultra-high power efficiency comes from the fact that CHP captures, and then uses the heat created by burning woodchip biomass to generate electricity, in a very streamlined process which can be as much as 90 per cent efficient.”

Earthmill’s Arbor Electrogen CHP units were the first small-scale CHP systems accredited by Ofgem to qualify for government subsidies and offer a return on investment in under five years. Costing £22,000 to £35,000 a year in woodchip to run, the units have the capacity to generate around £80,000 worth of heat and electricity, producing a £40,000 net profit. Energy-intensive businesses can expect paybacks of up to £100,000.

News

Farmers turn to CHP to recoup losses of failed Anaerobic Digestion projects

8th April, 2016

“As well as providing energy security for our dairy, the CHP plants will recover what we invested in a planning application for an AD plant.”

Hundreds of farmers in planning for Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants were recently stung by heavy cuts to the Feed-In Tariff, making their projects financially unviable.Now farmers and land owners are turning to biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to recoup their losses and generate their own energy on site.

Depending on the scale of the development, the Arbor ElectroGen 45 biomass CHP plant does not necessarily need planning permission and qualifies for two types of Government incentives: the long-running Renewable Obligation Scheme (ROCs) for the electricity produced and the generous Biogas Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Operators can see net returns of up to £85,000 per annum and 15-20% IRR over the lifetime of the investment making it an attractive option for anyone who was affected by the FiT cuts or anyone that failed in planning for AD.

Welsh Farmer comes out on top following FiT drop

Earthmill client Aled Lewis is currently installing 4 of the Arbor ElectroGen 45 plants at his dairy farm in Mid Wales after cuts in the Feed-in Tariff rendered his planning application for an AD plant financially unviable to pursue. The installation is powering the farms dairy operation as well as providing heat to a Wellvent drying floor to dry and supply woodchip. Aled will soon welcome farmers to his site to showcase the technology, allowing visitors to learn how they too can benefit from the generous Government incentives that are available for biomass CHP plants.
 
Aled Lewis commented, “As well as providing energy security for our dairy, the CHP plants will recover what we invested in a planning application for an AD plant here on the farm.”


 

Earthmill are currently offering free site assessments for farmers and business owners interested in installing CHP in Yorkshire, Cheshire and Wales. Click here to request your site assessment.

News

Earthmill expands with new wind turbine management division

4th April, 2016

Wetherby-based renewables specialist, Earthmill, the country’s largest agricultural wind turbine business, has expanded with the launch of a new division dedicated to servicing and maintaining wind turbines, to help maximise returns from wind power for farms across the UK.

The £15m turnover business, which has installed more than 250 ‘farm-scale’ turbines since it was launched out of managing director Steve Milner’s garage in 2009, has invested in new staff and technology in response to the high demand for assistance from turbine owners whose initial service warranties have expired.

Earthmill has won more than 20 new service and maintenance contracts in the last few months and expects to have gained at least a further 50 by the end of this year.

Installers 4

 

With a 14-strong team of engineers deployed nationally, and further hires expected later this year, Earthmill has also invested in a new on-site high-tech control centre at its Wetherby head office. The technology provides a detailed, real-time report of local wind speeds and power outputs of each turbine as well as pre-empting and instantly logging any technical problems

The system enables the team to react immediately to problems, either fixing issues from the Wetherby control centre or deploying their nearest engineer to the faulty turbine whatever time of day problems occur.

Earthmill managing director, Steve Milner, said: “When something goes wrong with a turbine, speed and technical expertise are essential to avoid costly downtime for turbine owners, who need their machine to be producing power at every opportunity. This investment in technology allows us to gather the levels of data necessary to ensure our clients are constantly getting the maximum out of their wind turbine investments.”

Mr Milner added: “We’ve put together a turbine management package for clients, specifically designed to take that stress away from farmers, who have more than enough to worry about already.

“There are a lot of basic maintenance deals on the market now but we take a holistic and more proactive approach to looking after each turbine site. While the industry average availability, or uptime, rate is 95 per cent, the rate for the turbines that Earthmill services and maintains is 98 per cent, thanks to our highly experienced team.

“Typically that extra 3 per cent means an additional £2,000 a year in revenue for hard-pressed farmers who need to maximise their farm income,” said Mr Milner.

Earthmill’s turbine management package also includes managing clients’ power purchase agreements, which can achieve an average 0.5p above the standard market rate, equating to up to £3,000 in additional annual income. The company also advises on business rates and insurance for turbines.

News

What gives the Arbor ElectroGen 45 the edge?

25th March, 2016

The Arbor ElectroGen 45 uses less fuel to produce more energy than any other biomass CHP plant currently available. Couple this with a less frequent maintenance schedule allowing more time for energy generation and it is no wonder farmers and landowners are looking no further than the Arbor ElectroGen 45.

The intelligent design of the gasifier within the Arbor ElectroGen 45 plant is what makes it all possible and why the Arbor unit can offer unrivalled returns. This is how it does it:

Temperature management

Most gasifiers suffer from ‘cool spots’ and therefore struggle to reach the very high temperatures required to reach gasification. This is due to only cool air being fed into the gasifier as well as the fuel becoming a clogged mass in the centre and restricting airflow. The Arbor unit is built using high grade insulating steel and extra insulation. The plant requires a large woodchip which allows for airflow between the fuel. Air is pre-heated before it enters the gasifier to raise the temperature and an additional air inlet feeds the pre-heated air into the centre of the gasifier resulting in an even temperature throughout the gasification chamber. For these reasons the Arbor ElectroGen produces a syn-gas with a higher calorie value making it the most fuel efficient biomass CHP plant available.

Zero Tar 

Tar has always been an issue with gasification systems, however the Arbor ElectroGen has overcome this problem in two ways. Firstly the extremely high temperatures achieved in the gasifier create an environment where tar is unable to form. Secondly, whereas most other gasifiers extract syn-gas at the same point as where the ash is removed, the Arbor plant uses separate extraction points resulting in a much cleaner gas with fewer solid particles to be filtered out before being used as fuel for the engine.

ElectroGen

Greater availability for generation

The Arbor gasifier uses a microwave sensor that doesn’t require regular maintenance and cannot jam like the equivalent mechanical devices used to manage the amount of fuel that is fed into the chamber. With fewer moving parts, virtually zero-tar production and no fuel clogging the Arbor gasifier requires significantly less service and maintenance. This is important as a gasifier can take several days to cool down before it is able to be serviced. It is for this reason we are able to account for 8,000 hours of up time per annum allowing our clients to generate more heat and power as well as greater subsidy returns.


 

You can find out more about the Arbor ElectroGen here or get a breakdown of typical annual returns and costs here. Alternatively, why not take advantage of our free site assessment service here.