Money For Nothing: Scotland’s Wind Farms Earn More Revenue When They’re Turned Off!!

The fact that Scotland’s wind farms have pocketed £650m for not generating power has attracted more than just a little attention.

STT has run several stories over the last few months about wind power outfits being paid very handsomely to NOT generate electricity. Perhaps it’s the sense of outrage that comes with knowing a group of unscrupulous thugs are being paid for doing nothing that’s prompted a flurry of articles, including this one.

Wind turbines generate more cash when switched off and Scots customers shouldering £650m blame
Daily Record
Paul Rodger
17 January 2020

Constraint payments have been paid to energy firms in charge of wind farms, when demand for electricity falls or winds are too strong for turbines to operate.

Wind turbines generate more cash when they’re switched OFF than when they’re working – with customers shouldering nearly £650 million in payments over a decade.

So-called ‘constraint payments’, a sort of compensation, have been paid to energy firms in charge of wind farms, when demand for electricity falls or winds are too strong for turbines to operate.

These costs are added to consumers’ electricity bills.

Most of the payments – totalling £649m since 2009 – have been levied to Scottish energy customers, with the vast majority of the UK’s onshore wind generated north of the border.

According to the Renewable Energy Foundation, 2018 was a record year for constraint payments, reaching a staggering £124,649,106 – surpassing the total in 2017 of £108,247,860.

Of this, £115,716,335 was paid to Scottish wind farms, and nearly all of that – £115,313,091 – went to onshore wind farms.

In 2018, several wind farms were switched off for around a quarter of the year.

Bhlaraidh wind farm near Fort Augustus, Scottish Highlands – which has 32 turbines – was constrained for 29 per cent of 2018.

Director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, John Constable, said the payments are “overwhelmingly a Scottish phenomenon”.

Constable said:

Constraint payments are predominantly paid to Scottish onshore wind farms.

There’s a limited number of English and Welsh farms.

It is overwhelmingly a Scottish phenomenon.

Constraint payments first occurred in the UK market in 2010 and we were the first to report them. They occur because wind is subsidised, so they’re paid to be turned off because they’re not using wind. Wind is strange.

Interestingly, because they’re in a strong market position they make more per unit than when they don’t sell than what they would sell per unit to the consumer.

Analysts say they shouldn’t be compensated at all because it’s a commercial risk and I would support that position.

The onshore costs to consumers are well over £100m per year.

You can build more grid but that’s not a cheap solution and it’s very costly.

Daily Record

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Colin Megson says:

    10th Anniversary of Whitelee Windfarm. I’ve just had to do a new blogpost:

  2. Colin Megson says:

    10th Anniversary of Whitelee Windfarm. I’ve just had to do a new blogpost.

    Search for: “how professionals polish a turd”

  3. The largest industrial scale wind facility in Ontario has been forced to derate more than half of their turbines because they were non compliant for tonal noise. Tonal noise continues despite the derating. Swooshing and whomping noises continue also, so if the Ministry of Environment, Parks and Conservation is serious about protecting residents from audible noise, then more derating is inevitable. Residents don’t trust the reporting process but if they don’t continue to prod the Ministry, their assumption will be that there is no problem!
    No one has been given information regarding the financial details, but one would expect that this facility is now even less productive. Will ratepayers be forced to pay this company full rates when the audible noise is violating compliance standards and further derating is ordered?
    The inaudible noise remains an issue that has never been dealt with. Acoustic pulsations/LFN/LFN modulations/infrasound are completely ignored by Ministry agents. Even the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Health have all stonewalled residents who have reported harm from inaudible noise since shortly after the project was turned on in March of 2015, when innocent men, women and children began to notice changes to their health. Reports of harm were delivered to a long list of people who were responsible for the harm…to no avail. We now know the harm from these trespassing acoustic pulsations is both cumulative and irreversible.
    These turbines need to be turned off. They were sited too close to peoples’ homes and in many cases in cluster/arrays surrounding their homes.
    Will ratepayers of Ontario have to pay for these turbines after the company is forced to turn them off?

  4. Where I live, far north Scotland, is one of the worst areas for constraints so one developer has told us the electricity from their new windfarm will be going to Norway via undersea cable. This is a huge windfarm, bitterly opposed over many years but still consented by the Minister. The Scottish government complains about lack of democracy from Westminster but allows none to Scottish people who can only watch their money being squandered in this way.

  5. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

  6. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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