An energy giant has been paid nearly £1.5million to temporarily turn off a wind farm before it was even completed.
EDF Energy got the cash to shut down its wind turbines in the Borders because the energy was not needed by the National Grid. It is the latest in a long line of ‘constraint payments’ handed to wind farm operators for producing no power at all.
The cost is ultimately paid for on consumers’ bills.
EDF, which made £2.8billion last year, was awarded £1.45million between April 29 and May 15 to turn off its Fallago Rig farm, in the Lammermuir Hills near Duns, Berwickshire. But the wind farm was only completed on May 17.
Critics have said the payments – which hit £328,000 on a single day – show how ludicrous the vast subsidies available for wind energy have become.
Richard Crawford, leader of the Alliance Party of Scotland, which opposes wind farms, said: ‘This is a prime example of the deceit and the underhandedness of these wind farms.
‘Most people would be shocked that so much money is being paid to EDF Energy when they are not even producing any energy.’
An EDF spokesman said the payments took into account all of the costs and lost revenues the wind farm would incur as a result of cutting its output. Such instructions from the National Grid were part of its daily management of the power system.