Long before the term ‘renewable energy’ was even coined, a small corner of Corby was harnessing wind power and spreading its message far and wide.
Now, the town has an enviable reputation for its green energy credentials with electric cars and eco homes an everyday sight.
And the town is also home to the UK’s oldest renewable energy company, Marlec, which is based on the Willowbrook East industrial estate. It is celebrating its 40th birthday this month.
Sales director Teresa Auciello said: “Ours is quite a unique business, there are few companies worldwide developing and manufacturing micro wind turbines as we do at Marlec but to find one that is 40 years old is rare indeed.
“This is certainly a milestone worthy of mention as there is no other business as long established in renewable energy as we are in the UK.”
The company first moved to Corby in the early years of it becoming an Enterprise Zone and has remained there for the last 32 years.
New jobs were created but still some of the company’s 25-strong team travel from Rutland. The name Rutland is linked with the company’s products which are exported worldwide under the brand name Rutland Windcharger.
These small turbines, typically less than 2m in span, and solar energy systems are sold and installed in countries as far as Australia, Japan and Africa and are even in use in the Antarctic.
The renewable energy systems enable customers to live independently of the national grid and facilitate the use of cameras and safety equipment on roadsides by creating a mini power supply, harnessing the clean and naturally occurring energy of the wind and sun.
Many of the 100,000 turbines the company has produced are used on sailing boats to keep batteries charged on board for essential navigation equipment.
Staff were treated to a day out at Rutland Water to celebrate the milestone birthday.
“With so many of our products used in the marine market it has been a wonderful day for all our staff to spend the day at Rutland Water, it’s a world class facility on our doorstep as well as borrowing the
Rutland name as we have.”