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Cashback as storms knock wind out of turbine sails  

Credit:  Jasper Hamill, Evening Times, www.eveningtimes.co.uk 14 September 2011 ~~

Windfarm bosses are expecting a huge payout after Hurricane Katia proved too gusty for the National Grid to handle.

Thirteen windfarms had to be temporarily taken off the national grid on Saturday as high winds battered the country.

It was feared that the excess power they produced could blow the electrical grid in some parts of Scotland.

But windfarm owners are likely to be in gales of laughter as they await a huge compensation cheque that could give them a windfall running into the millions.

They could be eligible for a “constraint” payment from the National Grid to compensate them for loss of earnings during the storm.

Between May 2010 and June this year energy companies in Scotland paid out £4.36 million in compensation after kicking windfarms off the grid.

Payments worth £2.6m were awarded in May alone following 80mph winds.

While windfarm operators are paid a subsidy of around £50 per MWh hour to put power into the network, they get six times this to temporarily stop pumping out power.

Green charity Scottish Renewables warned that the National Grid needed drastic work to prevent damage caused by overloads.

Chief Executive Niall Stuart said: “This clearly highlights the need to invest in grid upgrades.”

The turbines were taken off-line due to a combination of high winds and low demand for electricity.

If too much electricity is directed into the National Grid when there is no need for it, there is a risk of an overload.

That situation could be devastating to the power network.

As a safeguard, power stations can be taken off the grid to prevent any damage.

Source:  Jasper Hamill, Evening Times, www.eveningtimes.co.uk 14 September 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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