Fallago Rig wind farm has been officially commissioned, but critics point out that in recent weeks its operator received £1.4 million to not produce electricity.
EDF Energy Renewables has describe its 48-turbine wind farm on the west edge of the Lammermuirs as “one of the largest onshore wind farms to be built in the United Kingdom with a 144 MW installed capacity”.
It’s annual output will be equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 90,000 houses. However, the electricity it produces hasn’t been needed during most of May and EDF Energy Renewables was paid £1.14 million to switch off the turbines from May 1 to May 19.
Christian Egal, chief executive officer at EDF Energy Renewables, said: “We are proud to deliver this landmark development, a clear demonstration of our ability to handle very large-scale projects.
“With more than 400 MW of onshore wind energy in operation and one offshore wind project in the final stage of construction, EDF Energy Renewables has become a major player in the UK renewable energy sector.”
Fall ago Rig has been one of the more controversial wind farms erected in Berwickshire.
There was considerable local opposition, and Scottish Borders Council rejected it.
It took two public inquiries before the Scottish Government eventually gave wind farm developers North British Windpower the go ahead in November 2010 to build the farm on land owned by the Duke of Roxburgh.
EDF Energy Renewables Ltd bought out North British Windpower Ltd at the beginning of 2012. Turbine installation work at Fallago Rig began in July last year and the last turbine was erected in February this year. EDF Energy Renewables announced last week that all turbines are now online.
So far this month the company has received payment on 13 days out of 19 to reduce their electricity production by switching off some of the Fallago Rig turbines.
Its biggest payment to stop production was on May 13 when it received £328,841. The lowest was on May 19 when it received £1449.
The money is the result of the ‘Balancing Mechanism’ operated by National Grid to balance the supply and demand of electricity, and when too much electricity is being produced suppliers are given payments to reduce electricity production.