Posts Tagged ‘wind turbine’

Science Club at Monan

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The Tarbert Primary School Science Club members visited the Monan Windfarm last week. On a still day, they took in the views and got up close to a 500kW Windflow wind turbine.


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Scalpay Turbine update

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Work is now nearly complete on the new windturbine at Outend, Scalpay.

nacelle comp

An Orenda Skye 50kW turbine has been installed over the last few weeks by West Coast Energee from South Uist. The grid connection has been completed and there’s a satellite broadband connection for engineers to monitor operations.

The Scalpay turbine is one of ten machines being installed by Orenda Energy Solutions for Britannia Energy. One of their directors, based in Inverness, was here last month visiting the site for the first time.

NHT has leased the site to Orenda for 25 years. Various improvements have been made to the “peat road” as part of the project. The cost of upgrading the electricity grid for the turbine made the project non-viable for the Trust to develop itself.

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Monan now has two turbines

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monan t2 from North Harris Trust on Vimeo.

Here’s a short video showing the second of three turbines being erected on the monan site. The towers arrived off the Newcastle ferry from Leipzig. They came in two sections. The turbine head arrived in a container from New Zealand and had the blades bolted on whilst on the ground. The whole lot was then lifted to the top of the tower and gently aligned before bolting securely together.

The Windflow 500kW turbine is unusual in having only two blades. This gives it the ability to pivot in one more axis and allows the turbine to deal with the high levels of turbulence experienced on the site.

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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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The first arrivals for Monan

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The first components are starting to arrive on-island for the Monan wind development. Blades for the first turbine are sitting in storage, awaiting the remainder of the turbine. The Windflow 500 machine has two 15m blades instead of the usual three. Other parts will be arriving from New Zealand as well as Germany over the next few months. The contract for the civil works will be awarded shortly with work starting on site in July. The first turbine is scheduled to be erected in October.

A new planning application has been lodged with CnES (ref 14/00226/PPD) to revise the route of the currently permitted access track. The Windflow machines are smaller than those originally proposed. All parts can be shipped on standard articulated lorries, so the route up the Monan hill doesn’t have to be so gradual and sweeping. The simpler track will leave the main road, just north of Ceann an Ora quarry and head up to the three original turbine sites. The application is in the name of  Monan Wind Company. This is the new company set up by North Harris Trust and Windflow Technologies to develop the site.


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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 starts at Huisinis

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Work started on site this week to install two wind turbines on the hill above the toilets at Huisinis. Concrete pads have been cast for the two turbines. These will cure for a week before the rock anchor is drilled for each turbine. The cables have been buried on their way down to the toilet block. Where the cables and the protective ducting cross bare rock – in the last few meters, we are going to try a new capilliary matting system to replace turf cutting.

In the toilet block, we have installed all the control gear for the two 5kW turbines. They have also started to fit lighting for the first time in the building.

We now await SSE to arrive on site and install the new mains connection. They will be on site in ten days time to run a new cable from the nearest transformer to the toilet block. This will power the toilets on calm days and allow us to export any excess eletricity we generate.

Meanwhile back in the office, we anxiously await contact from the Investing in Ideas Fund. We have applied for funding for an Architect to come up with some plans for an updated toilet facility. This will double the size of the building, and include an indoor viewing area.

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Turbine’s are down

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This is what three Westwind turbines look like when they’re crated up.

Yesturday, West Coast Energee arrived to take down the turbine at the community recycling site. The machine is heading back to Ireland for refurbishment. It’s been operational for 18 months now and in this time the manufacturer has improved the design. Community Energy Scotland have arranged for a number of Westwind machines to return to the factory and all be brought up to the current specification. The trailer contains the machines from Galson, Back and Barvas. Our machine was also added to the collection.

This time, to speed up the process, the engineers used a mini-digger to help lowering the tower. Normally, JDs battered old LandRover gets tied to a ground anchor and they use the winch mounted on the bumper. Instead, a long cable was attached to the digger, and as it slowly advanced towards the tower, the turbine came down. We took advantage of having the digger on site to put some stone down in the soft bits of ground. The Landrover nearly got stuck in the peat the last time the tower came down. The access track gets very soft in the Winter.

We are now hoping for a calm few weeks whilst the machines are down. The Urgha site is now being more careful with its electricity. We now have to pay for everything we use. Let’s also see if anyone notices that the turbine and tower are down!

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Wind Turbine proposal for West Tarbert

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Today we lodged a planning application with the council for upto three 5kW wind turbines on land behind Sir E Scott Primary School. North Harris Trading are working with Community Energy Scotland Trading on a project to install a number of domestic-scale turbines on community owned land throughout Scotland. The proposal in West Tarbert is to install either one or two Evance Iskra 5kW turbines to feed “green” energy into the Primary School. One final turbine will be installed to feed the Croileagan. Both organisations should benefit from cheaper energy bills and the knowledge that they’re reducing their Carbon Footprint.

The turbines in question are the same model as the one installed behind Tarbert Garage / Spectral Lines. It has a grey finish, so blends in well with the rocky backdrop. The site has been chosen as a compromise between wind resource, land ownership, proximity to the consumer and clearance from other obstacles. The site is already congested with the main power line to the island going north to Stornoway and the main supply to South Harris passing through. The site is upwind of the surrounding households. This should mean that for the majority of the time any turbine noise would be taken away up the hill.

The formal planning process is now underway. If anyone wishes to get more details of the proposals, or talk through their concerns, then visit us in the Old Hostel or call on 01859 502222.

Further details of the turbine are available on the manufacturers site at:

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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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