Posts Tagged ‘Wind Turbine projects’

Joint announcement from Windflow Technology Ltd and The North Harris Trust

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 Windflow UK Limited and the North Harris Trust are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement to construct a wind project at Monan, on North Harris in the Outer Hebrides.  The project is located on an elevated ridge about 5 miles north of Tarbert and will use three 500 kW Windflow 500s manufactured by Windflow in New Zealand.  It will be constructed during 2014.

This project has been under development for several years, but stumbled because of the difficult wind conditions caused by the proximity of large mountains such as the Clisham, the highest mountain in the Outer Hebrides at 799 metres (2,621 ft).  The Windflow 500 has been designed – and independently certified by Lloyds Register – to operate for 20 years in “class 1A” wind regime, which is the toughest classification defined by IEC 61400, the design standard for wind turbines.  With its 33 m rotor the Windflow 500 is large enough to generate useful amounts of electricity, but small enough to minimise visibility and get onto difficult sites using standard-sized lorries and roads.

A joint venture company called Monan Wind Company Limited has been set up to build and operate the project.  North Harris Trust owns 10% of this joint venture through its Trading Company and will receive a rent on behalf of the community for the life of the project.  In addition to Windflow’s turbines, the project will involve civil, electrical and turbine installation works, and operations and maintenance service. Windflow will shortly start to engage locally with contractors for procurement.

Andy Strowbridge, Windflow UK’s General Manager, said:

We are delighted to be partnering with The North Harris Trust to bring this iconic community project to fruition.  We realise that the spectacular location has a flip side, with difficult access and a truly challenging wind regime. Fortunately we have experience from other demanding sites where Windflow turbines operate.   We look forward to working with North Harris Trust and the local community to turn their wind into a long term legacy.”

Calum MacKay, Chair of The North Harris Trust said:

We set out in 2003 to develop the Monan site. Directors have worked doggedly to find a way through the many set-backs thrown their way. After over ten years, it looks as though this year we will see turbines on the site. This project will bring much-needed new income to the Trust and the local community.”

Windflow UK Limited sells, builds, owns and operates wind projects, and is wholly owned by Windflow Technology Limited, the New Zealand based manufacturer of mid-size wind turbines.

The North Harris Trust was established in 2003 to manage the 26,000 hectare North Harris Estate on behalf of the local community. It is run by a team of locally-elected volunteer directors and is involved in a variety of community development activities.

Urgha turbine returns

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Last week we were re-united with our old friend, the Westwind 10 turbine. The turbine was taken down in May to return to the factory. Along with turbines from Galson, Back and Barvas, our machine was re-engineered and brought upto the latest specification. The turbines were shipped back in September, but have been sat in DR MacLeods yard awaiting a gap in the installers schedule. The only difference that’s visible is the new tail design. We now have a horizontal wing on the tail. This will hopefully create lift making it easier for the turbine to furl and unfurl in strong winds.

On Thursday, Tarbert awoke to the sound of a helicopter circling and landing at Urgha. This was the guy who installed the turbine originally – coming back to see it go up again. He since went on to sell his company and get a helicopter to visit turbine sites from his Shetland home.

Anyway, the turbine was erected successfully at lunchtime, in a good stiff breeze. We’ve had some good wind since then and are generating once more. We can also now use the Logic Energy remote monitoring facility. This was installed in the summer, but has obviously not been much use without the turbine. Now, without leaving the warm office, we can see how windy it is and how much we are generating. After the first few days, it appears as though the wind direction is not reading true. That’ll have to wait till the tower comes down again. The figures update every 10 minutes and will show 7 days of readings. The monitoring is also highlighting a maximum of 8kW in the windiest of conditions. The turbine is designed as a 10kW machine, so despite the return to the factory, we still appear to have a problem.

 

Click HERE to see the monitor

 

Interconnector issues

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The start of the month saw a stream of news articles about “the interconnector”. The price has shot up for this length of copper wire that will join the Western Isles to the mainland.

a wet piece of string

The Western and Northern Isles have the best wind resource in the country – yet neither can export the energy that could be created, to the centres of demand down south. The press articles talk about the big commercial developments downing tools. They talk about the community benefit payments not materialising. They do however fail to mention the community-owned schemes that are on hold because of the indecision. We have two schemes in North Harris, our neighbours in West Harris have one –all currently stalled because of the interconnector. “The Lewis and Harris grid is full” is what we hear. There’s not even room for the tiny 100kW Bunavoneader scheme. Our Monan partnership with Windflow Technologies is also on hold. We have even offered to connect only when there is space on the grid on cold and windy days – but no. The two big projects that were to make a step change in community regeneration activity are once again on hold. We now wait for the news that CnES – the wee boys from the Outer Hebrides, have managed to make SSE, National Grid and Ofgem see sense.

Work finishes at West Tarbert

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This week saw the heavy machinery move off site on land above West Tarbert. In the spring, we secured planning permission for three micro-wind turbines on Trust land behind the Croileagan. Working in partnership with Community Energy Scotland and Hebridean Housing Partnership, three Evance machines were purchased for the site. Three 5kW wind turbines are now connected to three of the social housing units in Parkview Terrace. Along with the air-source heat pumps, the turbines will be making a significant dent in the heating bills of three Tarbert residents.

West Electrical Services has once again done a great job in getting the machines installed, despite the difficulties in access to the site.

Turbines are go!

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Over the last couple of weeks, despite the gales, West Electrical has ploughed on with the installation of the two 5kW turbines at Scaladale. The machines were up last week, and now just need some final internal work to be completed. The hope is that before the end of the week, green energy will be flowing into the heaters at the Scaladale Centre.

This project was completed for the benefit of Lewis and Harris Youth Club Association, a registered charity, by a partnership between The North Harris Trust, Community Energy Scotland Trading and the Ardvourlie Grazings Committee.

Stornoway Gazette Article – Monan

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An article reproduced from the Stornoway Gazette.

Scaladale Centre – Wind Turbines

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At the end of March, we received Planning Approval to erect 2 x Evance Iskra 5kW wind turbines on the hill to the north of the Scaladale Centre in North Harris. We have been working with Community Energy Scotland – Trading on this project. They will now take the project forward by securing grid connection and funding the turbine installations. We hope to have the turbines operational, and feeding electricity into the centre at the start of the summer.

Grasping an opportunity for North Harris

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In the current economic climate, it’s getting more difficult to obtain funding for renewable energy schemes. However, late last year an opportunity arose when the North Harris Trust was contacted by Community Energy Scotland Trading (CES-T). They have funding for a small number of 5kW wind turbines, and were looking for good wind sites to locate them. CES-T has been speaking with both Lewis and Harris Youth Club (LHYCA) and Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) about feeding electricity into some of their premises. The Trust, who manages the community land that the turbines would sit on, is doing some of the preparatory work for CES-T. CES have helped us with a number of our own North Harris projects in the past.

You may have seen the Screening Requests that were included in the Planning Application lists in November and December. These are a precursor to a planning application, and are used to seek opinions from the statutory bodies and from the public. The applications show three sites above the Scaladale Centre, and three sites above the HHP development at Seileamol. The sites at Seileamol were chosen to take into account the views of a number of local residents. The Scaladale sites have been chosen to reduce visual impact.

Once the Screening Opinions have been received from CnES, it is hoped that a full planning application can be submitted. We have had discussions with a number of residents but would like to hear from anyone who has any concerns before we progress either scheme.  Plans are available for viewing at the Old Hostel or if there is enough interest, a community briefing could be organised in the two townships. Please contact David Wake 01859 502222 at North Harris Trust for further information.

It’s arrived!

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Flat-pack turbine kit

Despite Force 8 gales and the Ullapool ferry  being cancelled with mechanical problems, the Urgha turbine arrived on site this evening.

The guys had been driving all day. From Stirling to Uig, via Ullapool. They were still keen to get unloaded before they gave up for the day though. The first challenge was to work out how to get the tower off, without using the crane. The van was loaded by someone else -and all they were told was that the tower’s too heavy for the crane. Time to beat a hasty retreat! We’ll see what Hebridean improvisation comes up with.

Community energy on hold

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The National Grid

This week everyone on the islands, involved in Community Energy schemes, has been talking about Grid Connection. The current issues could stop millions of pounds being invested in the regeneration of Western Isles communities.

Scottish and Southern Energy are responsible for grid-connecting electricity generating schemes like our hydro schemes and many community wind turbines in the isles. When applications are made to connect new schemes to the grid, an offer is made by SSE, with a  date and a cost. Some schemes are being quoted costs in terms of millions – to cover the upgrade of an aged power infrastructure. Other groups have been given connection dates a number of years away. This uncertainty and lack of consistency could derail many community regeneration plans. Read more on the links below:

http://www.hebrides-news.com/community_wind_farms_threat_28410.html

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/transport-environment/anger-as-islands-face-devastating-energy-decision-1.1023870