Wind farm companies have enjoyed a bonanza because of a “perverse incentive” to build in remote parts of Scotland where they are likely to be paid to turn off their turbines, it has been claimed. Developers north of the border received £115 million to discard their potential output as constraint payments across the UK reached a record £125 million last year. Critics have now highlighted examples that they claim illustrate faults in the payments system. The 66-turbine Stronelairg wind farm, on the edge of Cairngorm National Park, was “constrained” on December 28, less than a fortnight after its official opening, according to data collected by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a charity that has been critical of wind farms. Stronelairg’s owner, SSE, like other wind farm companies, receives payments to turn off turbines when electricity supply outstrips local demand and bottlenecks in the grid prevent exports. John Constable, director of the REF, said that the system appeared to motivate companies to build in remote areas where bottlenecks could be expected.
Times 7th Jan 2019 read more »