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Energy firms paid £1.8m to not generate any electricity

Energy companies in ­Scotland were paid almost £2 million not to generate electricity on one day this month.

A total of £1.84m in constraint payments was given to 28 wind farms north of the Border because generation was outstripping demand on August 3.

The National Grid said the payments could be made because wind farms were producing more energy in particularly windy weather or people were using less electricity on warm days.

But Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said: “We are building more and more wind farms when we cannot even properly utilise much of the power from those which already exist. It’s the poor electricity bill player who has to pay these huge sums.”

In May The Herald reported that wind farm operators in Scotland had been paid nearly £6m over the previous 33 days not to generate electricity, more than was paid out for the whole of last year. ScottishPower Renewables, SSE and EDF Energy were among the companies which received the payments on August 3.

It is thought the Beauly-Denny power line will help to alleviate the problem by improving capacity to transport electricity generated to England.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Grid upgrades will alleviate constraints and help Scotland to achieve its ambitious renewable targets.”