The Telegraph has reported “six Scottish wind farms were asked to stop producing electricity on a particularly windy night last month as the National Grid was overloaded.” The operators were paid a total of £900,000 to take the night off, likely earning more from not operating than they would have earned from selling power that night.
The payments were discovered by the Renewable Energy Foundation, a green think tank, which accused the Government of building too many wind farms in northern Britain.
John Constable, director of policy and research, said not enough care had been taken to ensure there were enough high-voltage cables to transfer the power to other parts of the UK when it was needed.
“Hasty attempts to meet targets for renewable energy mean some Scottish wind farms are now in the extraordinary position of not only printing money when they generate, but printing it even faster when they throw their energy away,” he told the Sunday Times.
The Renewable Energy Foundation provides additional information on its website:
- Consumers Pay Scottish Wind Farms to Throw Energy Away
- High Rewards for Wind Farms Discarding Electricity 5th-6th April 2011
- Scottish Wind Power Constraint Payments Update