Author Archives: Duncan Easter

Production for the year to 31 October 2019

Findhorn Wind Park imports power from the grid when we can’t meet the demand of the Park Ecovillage from our wind turbines. During the last 4 years we saw the loss of 10% of our production capacity with the decommissioning of Moya, our Vestas 75kWwind turbine, combined with various mechanical issues with our other turbines, the latter now thankfully now resolved. As a growing ecovillage we have also seen a 4.5% increase in demand over this period. The increased use of air source heat pumps, electric vehicles and the general building expansion at the Park Ecovillage has been tempered by energy awareness-raising and various efficiency measures.

We are pleased to say that over the past year Findhorn Wind Park has been able to meet 95% of the Ecovillage electricity demand. Private photovoltaic (PV) generation on the site is estimated to have provided an additional 3.5% to 4% of the site’s demand. (The impact of the PV is hard to determine precisely.) Furthermore, we have a 100% renewable import contract and as a consequence the Park Ecovillage produced zero carbon emissions from its electricity usage.

  • FWP generated 1,112MWh of renewable electricity from our wind turbines and PV arrays.
  • In addition, we estimate private PV systems generated a further 42-48MWh of renewable electricity.
  • The Park Ecovillage usage was 1,172MWh, so 98.5% to 99% of total demand was created on site.
  • FWP also exported 544MWh of renewable power when the wind turbines generated more than the Park could use, saving a significant amount of CO2e off site.

Park Ecovillage carbon emissions

April 2016 to March 2017

Findhorn Wind Park imports power from the grid when we can’t meet the demand of the Park Ecovillage exceeds production from our wind turbines. For the first seven months of this period we were not able to secure a 100% renewable import contract and as a consequence the Park Ecovillage produced some carbon emissions.

  • FWP generated 755MWh of renewable electricity and the Park EcoVillage usage was 1,119MWh.
  • Of the total power used at the Park 76% was renewable (from FWP & the grid) and 24% was from non-renewable sources, imported when the wind did not blow strongly enough to meet the Park demand.
  • The non-renewable power imported produced 107.8 Tonnes CO2e.
  • FWP also exported 311MWh of renewable power when the wind turbines generated more than the Park could use, saving 79.1 Tonnes CO2e off site.
  • Overall, Park electricity consumption led to a net carbon footprint of 28.7 Tonnes CO2e. This is 25.6g CO2e per kWh consumed compared to a national average of 254 g CO2e per kWh for the year from April 2016 to March 2017.

April 2017 to March 2018

  • FWP generated 999MWh of renewable electricity and the Park EcoVillage usage was 1,233MWh.
  • All the power used at the Park was renewable as we had a 100% ‘green’ import contract throughout this period.
  • FWP exported 399MWh of renewable power when the wind turbines generated more than the Park could use. This saves CO2 emissions off site, but quantifying this saving requires updated fuel mix data to be released late in 2018. Hopefully the new national average will be significantly lower than the previous year.

Beauty needs a new yaw ring

The yaw ring is a large toothed ring at the top of the tower. The nacelle is the box at the top containing the gearbox and generator and with the rotor attached. This is driven around the yaw ring to keep the rotor facing the wind.

We knew there was one broken tooth. On 14th January a second neighbouring tooth broke and Beauty needs a new yaw ring before she can work again. The repair involves completely removing the rotor and nacelle from the tower using a big crane, replacing the steel ring and putting the nacelle and rotor back in place.

We hope to have the repair completed by mid-February. Among other things, this will be dependent on the weather being suitable for the crane.

Celebration for Moya

Sadly it is not economic to repair Moya, our 25 year old Vestas V17 turbine. There will be a celebration of her contribution to the Findhorn Foundation Community at noon on the Field of Dreams green, Sunday 2nd of August. Please join us.

Moya update

The engineers found the main shaft of Moya is broken. This is a major breakdown and we will have to review the future of the turbine. At almost 26 years old, just like an old car, it may no longer be economic to repair our oldest turbine.

Moya’s ‘stall tips’

Moya is our smaller and older V17 turbine. In the recent high winds, two stall tips have ‘popped’ leaving the tips of the blades twisted in relation to the main section of the blade. This is a protection mechanism to prevent the rotor from turning too fast. Our engineers will need to visit to check things over and reset the tips.

Joy update

The south V29 has an intermittent fault that is proving hard to trace. New capacitors are expected soon. These may not be the whole solution, however once fitted the engineers will be able to conduct further tests and trials. Until the capacitors arrive Joy will not be turning.

Beauty is becoming noisy

A new gearbox is required in the centre V29 and will soon be fitted. This will involve bringing a large crane through Kinloss Barracks. The timing depends on many things coming together: fair weather, engineer & crane availability and the cooperation of the army and air traffic control.