Scottish wind farms receive $1.5m for one night's grid disconnection

Six Scottish wind farms were paid up to GBP300 000 ($500 000) to disconnect turbines from the UK's National Grid.
 
According to the BBC, the wind turbines, at a range of sites across Scotland, were stopped because the grid network could not absorb all the electricity they generated.
 
Details of the payments emerged following research by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF).  The REF said energy companies were paid GBP900 000 to halt the turbines for several hours between 5 and 6 April.
 
According to the REF research, the payments made cost up to 20 times the value of the electricity that would have been generated if the turbines had kept running.
 
The largest payment was given to Whitelee wind farm in East Renfrewshire, owned by Scottish Power, which was paid GBP308 000 in April.The RWE Npower-owned Farr wind farm, south of Inverness, received GBP265 000 in the same month.
 
Hadyardhill in South Ayrshire, which is owned by SSE Renewables, was given GBP140 000 to stop producing energy, while Blacklaw wind farm in Lanarkshire - also owned by Scottish Power - was given £130 000.
 
The Millennium windfarm in the Highlands and Beinn Tharsuin, just north of Alness, each received GPB33 000 and GBP11 500 respectively.
 
National Grid said the network had overloaded because high winds and heavy rain in Scotland overnight on 5 and 6 April produced more wind energy than it could use.
 
Spokesman Stewart Larque said: "One of our key roles is to balance supply and demand for energy. On the evening of the 5th into the 6th of April, the wind in Scotland was high, it was raining heavily, which also created more hydro energy than normal."
 
Mr Larque said a transmission fault in the system meant the surplus energy could not be transferred to England and so generation had to be cut.
 
Dr Lee Moroney, planning director for the REF, which has criticized subsidies to the renewable sector in the past, said: "The variability of wind power poses grid management problems for which there are no cheap solutions. We need greater electrical energy storage facilities and greater interconnection with our EU neighbours so that excess energy supplies can be sold or bought where required.”
 
A spokesman for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), described the incident as "unusual" and said more electrical storage was needed. He added: "In future we need greater electrical energy storage facilities and greater interconnection with our EU neighbours so that excess energy supplies can be sold or bought where required."
 

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