Posts Tagged ‘Wind Turbine projects’

A long trip from New Zealand ends in the Harris hills.

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towerliftOn Tuesday 25th November, North Harris got its first full-scale wind turbine.

The North Harris Trust has been working for over 9 years to develop the site at Monan, above Ardhasaig. Whilst communities at Horshader, Galson and Tolsta managed to commission their community turbines, North Harris lagged behind due to the challenging wind conditions. With grid-connection and financing problems behind us, and a suitable turbine, our joint venture with the turbine manufacturer has finally started to bear fruit.

For four years we have been working with Windflow Technology Ltd, who manufacture a unique two-bladed machine that can deal with the turbulent wind conditions found amongst the North Harris hills. Last week the first of three machines arrived from New Zealand and was lifted into place. Carrying out this work in the winter months is always risky, but the weather was sufficiently calm to allow the nacelle with blades to be lifted to the top of the tower. Duncan MacKay & Sons moved onto site way back in August. Since then they have built a 1200m access track and foundations. Now the job is on to get the cables installed in the ground and connected down the hill to the substation cabinet. Fingers are crossed that SSE can bring together the appropriate people to get the turbine connected to the grid before Christmas.
Once the Christmas break is over, preparations will get underway for the arrival of Turbine 2 and 3. Foundations and crane hard-standings are already in place. It is hoped that the turbines will be operational at the start of March and delivering a new income to the community for many years to come.

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Monan Wind Company – making tracks

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While the sun shines in Harris, significant progress has been made building a new track up to the wind turbine sites.

Blast! from North Harris Trust on Vimeo.

Last week, after importing tons of stone from the Ceann an Ora quarry, the contractors claimed 4000 cubic meters of stone in the space of a few seconds. This will be used to extend the track between the sites for the three turbines.

The project is being developed by The Monan Wind Company, which is a Joint Venture between the North Harris Trust and Windflow Technology. Windflow has developed a smaller two-bladed machine that can tolerate higher levels of turbulence. They have 100 of them operating in similar terrain in New Zealand.

The Harris machines will arrive in Scotland on November 8th, so weather permitting, they will be installed before the end of the year.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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