Source: Telegraph | PA
Windfarm operators across the north have raked-in a staggering £52million over the past five years – for switching their turbines off.
It has cost customers in the Highlands and islands £28,000 a day on average to meet the so-called “constraint payments” since they were introduced in 2011.
The National Grid asks operators to put the brakes on their turbines to safely balance the volume of electricity on the network – and then gives them compensation.
The cost is the passed on to households in their bills.
The 10 Highland windfarms which qualify for the payments have collected a total of £52million.
Scotland-wide, a total of £217million had been paid out, and the figure for the whole of the UK is £224million.
Industry watchers described the figures as “madness”, although renewables chiefs said the payments were imply “part of the overall efficient management of our electricity system”.
In Highland, Baillie Windfarm at Caithness (owned by Statkraft) has had £1.5million in compensation; Beinn Tharsuinn in Ross-shire (ScottishPower Renewables) £4.8million; Edinbane on Skye (Vattenfall) £3.4million; Farr 1 in Inverness-shire (RWE Innogy) £6.7million; Farr 2 £4.5million; Gordonbush in Sutherland (SSE) £10.5million; Strathy North in Sutherland (SSE) £2million; Kilbraur 1, in Sutherland (Falck Renewables) £7.7million; Lochluichart in Ross-shire (Eneco) £645,000 and Millennium 1 in Inverness-shire (Falck) £10.3million.
Highland anti-windfarm campaigner Lyndsey Ward said: “These are mind-boggling sums of money that enriches the already wealthy wind multinationals to not generate electricity – and it comes out of our pockets.
“It’s time to end this madness.”
See also: Wind farms paid £1m a week to switch off