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Windfarms paid £5M a day to turn off turbines

More than 60 wind farms – most in Scotland – were compensated on October 8. The payouts topped the previous high of £3.4million, sparking fresh criticism of the Scottish Government’s ‘green’ agenda. In very windy conditions, the National Grid cannot cope with the extra energy turbines produce, so firms get ‘constraint payments’ to temporarily shut them down.

100m-a-year bill for SNP’s green ‘obsession’

A record 4.8million was paid to wind farms in one day to switch off turbines – because it was too windy.

More than 60 wind farms – most in Scotland – were compensated on October 8. The payouts topped the previous high of 3.4million, sparking fresh criticism of the Scottish Government’s ‘green’ agenda.

In very windy conditions, the National Grid cannot cope with the extra energy turbines produce, so firms get ‘constraint payments’ to temporarily shut them down. These payouts amount to more than 100million a year.

Scottish Tory energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: ‘Bill payers will find it increasingly difficult to stomach these extra charges.

‘This is one of the many problems with an over-reliance on onshore wind. The SNP’s obsession with wind energy shows no sign of

abating. This will become more and more of an issue.’

John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation charity, which collected the data, said: ‘The high costs of wind farm constraints result from the Scottish Government’s unbalanced enthusiasm for wind power.’

Its analysis found 63 wind farms were compensated when heavy winds swept the country on October 8,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

£100m-a-year bill for SNP’s green ‘obsession’

A record £4.8million was paid to wind farms in one day to switch off turbines – because it was too windy.

More than 60 wind farms – most in Scotland – were compensated on October 8. The payouts topped the previous high of £3.4million, sparking fresh criticism of the Scottish Government’s ‘green’ agenda.

In very windy conditions, the National Grid cannot cope with the extra energy turbines produce, so firms get ‘constraint payments’ to temporarily shut them down. These payouts amount to more than £100million a year.

Scottish Tory energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: ‘Bill payers will find it increasingly difficult to stomach these extra charges.

‘This is one of the many problems with an over-reliance on onshore wind. The SNP’s obsession with wind energy shows no sign of

abating. This will become more and more of an issue.’

John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation charity, which collected the data, said: ‘The high costs of wind farm constraints result from the Scottish Government’s unbalanced enthusiasm for wind power.’

Its analysis found 63 wind farms were compensated when heavy winds swept the country on October 8, leading to the record payment.

The largest payout, £663,638, was to Scottish and Southern Energy’s Clyde wind farm in Lanarkshire.

Scottish Power’s Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow received almost £500,000.

The previous record had been set when £3.4million was paid to shut down wind farms on October 2. Before that, £3.1million had been given out on July 28.

A monthly record of £28.4million was set in September, £5million more than the previous record of £23.2million in October 2017.

The annual record of £108million, set last year, looks certain to be broken in 2018. The payouts have been blamed on the late handover of a £1billion subsea cable to transfer surplus energy south of the Border.

The Western Link, running for 239 miles from Hunterston, Ayrshire to North-West England, only started to work at full capacity in September, nearly three years late.

By exporting electricity to England and Wales, it was hoped the cable would cut the amount of compensation paid to energy companies when their Scottish wind farms have to be shut down.

But Dr Constable said: ‘Paying generators to stop generating is neither efficient nor a normal function in UK electricity. It is related to the fact that wind power loses subsidy when constrained off, so asks for compensation.

‘In fact, it asks for more than the lost income. In my view, that is an abuse of market power, pure and simple.

‘As for the suggestion that wind is the cheapest form of electricity generation, that is simply absurd.

‘The capital expenditure is still extremely high offshore and high onshore. And when system costs, including hugely expensive projects such as the Western Link, are taken into account, wind energy is vastly more expensive to consumers than conventional electricity.’

Jenny Hogan, deputy chief executive of industry body Scottish Renewables, said: ‘Constraint payments are a normal part of the overall efficient management of our electricity system, given the limitations of the UK’s ageing energy infrastructure.

‘The National Grid pays a variety of technologies to reduce or increase output as required to help balance the system. The compensation is governed by the Transmission Constraint Licence Condition, which prohibits generators obtaining excessive benefit.’

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Wind energy is now the cheapest means of generating electricity and plays a key part in helping deliver the steep reductions in carbon emissions we so desperately need.

‘Constraint payments are paid by the National Grid to a range of technologies that generate electricity and, rather than reflecting negatively upon the source of power, they reflect on current capacity constraints on the grid infrastructure. But the necessary, vital investment is now happening.’

The spokesman added that the Western Link ‘will greatly reduce the need for these payments, as the future National Grid will allow for Scotland’s renewable power to be fully utilised’.

A National Grid spokesman said: ‘We balance the country’s supply and demand of electricity and can sometimes ask generators to come on or off the Grid to keep the system balanced.

‘Wind constraint payments are the most economically efficient way of managing additional green capacity, while we retain and reinforce capacity on our electricity network.’


Source: https://www.pressreader.com...

OCT 29 2018
https://www.windaction.org/posts/49020-windfarms-paid-5m-a-day-to-turn-off-turbines
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