Almost £300,000 was paid to north windfarm firms not to operate while ministers at the SNP conference argued the need for more windfarm developments in the region.
Windfarms get payments from the National Grid to shut when it is too windy and too much electricity is being produced, or when there is not enough demand.
During the four-day conference in Inverness, members were met by protesters who were shocked by the number of developments in place, under construction or proposed across Scotland.
Figures by Renewable Energy Foundation revealed £290,941 was paid to four windfarms to stop producing electricity, during the period of the conference alone.
The largest payment was to RWE nPower-owned Farr windfarm, near Inverness, which received £180,743 over the four days while Beinn Tharsuinn windfarm in Easter Ross received the second largest with £56,540.
Kilbraur windfarm near Golspie got £44,636 while Millennium windfarm, Fort Augustus, was paid £9,022.
Stewart Young, of the Caithness Windfarm Information Group, said yesterday the amount of money being spent stopping windfarms working was “obscene”.
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