Community Wind Turbine

Project Elements

Wind turbine.jpg

Community Wind Turbine

Shapinsay Development Trust

Shapinsay Development Trust (SDT) is a charitable community organisation on the Orkney island of Shapinsay.  One of SDT’s income sources is a trading subsidiary that operates a grid-connected 900kW wind turbine on the island. This Enercon E44 turbine was commissioned in 2011 and is located about 5km to the east of Balfour Harbour.

This Shapinsay wind turbine experiences high levels of curtailment, when the amount of power the turbine could produce is more than the capacity of the local electricity grid. This is due to its non-firm grid connection and constraints applied by the distribution network operator to keep the local network balanced.

The profit generated by this wind turbine is used for the benefit of the community of Shapinsay, which has about 300 inhabitants. Among the services SDT funds is an out of hours passenger ferry service linking Balfour Village in Shapinsay with Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland. This ferry service faces increasing costs, so the opportunity from BIG HIT will help maximise the use of renewable electricity, and also provide direct benefit to the community on Shapinsay.

Eday Partnership

Eday is one of Orkney’s North Isles and is located approximately 15 miles north of Kirkwall. It covers an area of approximately 10 square miles and has a population of 150. Eday's coastline is rugged and varied with rocky shores, dramatic sea cliffs and long sandy beaches.

In keeping with many communities in Orkney the Eday Partnership set about acquiring a wind turbine for the benefit of the Community of Eday. As a result, a 900kW Enercon turbine was erected with the aim of providing revenue for reinvestment into the local community and a wholly owned trading subsidiary company, Eday Renewable Energy Ltd (ERE), was setup to manage the wind turbine business on behalf of Eday Partnership.

However, in recent years the wind turbine has often experienced heavy curtailment due to its non-firm grid connection. This has led to ERE working with Community Energy Scotland (CES) to find innovative solutions that will allow them to utilise more of the generation potential of their wind turbine thereby offsetting the impact that curtailment would otherwise have on the community.