Easter present for wind farms

Operators of Crystal Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills have received regular payments to stop producing electricity
Operators of Crystal Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills have received regular payments to stop producing electricity

Crystal Rig and Fallago Rig wind farms received over £358,000 at the Easter weekend to turn off their turbines.

“Local schemes Fallago and Crystal Rig were both heavily constrained (again) whilst both feeling the need to have extra turbines constructed,” said Mark Rowley, chair of Lammermuir Community Council.

Crystal Rig currently has 85 turbines and operator Fred Olsen Renewables is looking to increase the number by 6. EDF Energy’s Fallago Rig currently has 48 operating turbines and wants to add a further 13.

The Renewable Energy Foundation website says: “Windy bank holidays, when wind power output is high but demand is low, can force National Grid to make significant constraint payments to wind farms, plus related payments to conventional generators, to cope with the surplus, unusable electricity generated by wind farms, usually because the windfarms are located behind a grid bottleneck.

“2016 has proved to be the most expensive Easter holiday period to date for wind farm constraint payments, with a total of £3.7 million being shared between 39 wind farms.

“It is expected that even with grid reinforcements, wind constraint payments particularly to Scottish wind farms will rise again, as more wind power is built north of Tweed.

“There can be little justification for the consenting of further wind farms, and arguably those wind farms already constructed and consented should pay for the system difficulties they are causing.”