£10BN ENERGY BILLS RIP-OFF: Salmond wind farm obsession cost British …

November 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Dozens of new Scottish wind farms, many of them foreign-owned, are being completed years before the upgrade of power lines from the Highlands and islands or across the Border. The £10billion estimated cost of this renewables rush –
equivalent to almost £2,860 for every household over the next seven years – is based on a report by National Grid, which manages the country’s transmission network.

Under legislation introduced by the Coalition in 2010, energy companies sign what are known as “Connect and Manage” agreements for all new projects.

This means that if they are operational before National Grid is ready to cope with the power they can generate, they will be paid to switch off their turbines.

While most of these wind farms are in Scotland, most of the demand is in England – and the necessary north-south improvements to the grid will take up to a decade to complete.

At the same time, more electricity must be purchased to meet demand in the cities – meaning that householders will be effectively paying for the same power twice.

In three months from April and July, Connect and Manage cost National Grid at least £17.2million – all of which will be “socialised”, or added on to electricity bills.

Only 13 large wind farms in Scotland with 600MW of generating power are operating under the new arrangements – meaning they cost National Grid £1million for each 35MW of capacity.

However, a further 112 Scottish wind farms with a colossal 14,653MW of generating power have already signed Connect and Manage deals.

The average length of time before the network will be ready to cope with all this additional power will be seven years in southern Scotland and five years in the north. Based on the most recent figures, the ultimate cost to customers would
be £10billion – although as more wind farms are built and the grid becomes more congested, that could rise still further.

Also, this figure does not include the millions of pounds in “constraint” payments given to older wind farms to help balance demand on the grid.

Stuart Young, a retired construction consultant and chairman of Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, stumbled across the astonishing report on National Grid’s website.

He said: “This is the inevitable consequence of our government introducing Connect and Manage at a far greater cost than they anticipated.

Comments are closed.