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.
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.
Findhorn Wind Park (FWP) has advised NFD of a rise in the electricity price that will come through for NFD usage from December 2016 as a result of our signing up for a new ‘Green’ tariff. The will result in a 1% rise across day, standard and night rates. Using the current November figures as an example, the standard rate would be 13.47 pence (up 0.14 pence), a day rate of 14.47 pence (up 0.14pence) and a night rate of 10.83 pence (up 0.10pence).
The price charged by FWP to NFD is based on Scottish and Southern Energy’s (SSE) domestic tariffs. When the wind does not blow strongly enough to generate all the power required for the Park, FWP imports the balance from the grid. With the recent growth of the Park estate (East Whins), the decommissioning of Moya, and relatively low winds in the past 12 months, FWP was a net importer rather than exporter of electricity. Things may improve in the coming year – however, all the power used by the Park, whether produced by FWP or purchased from SSE is now produced from renewable sources.
In a new initiative we have now begun installing PV panels on the roofs of various properties at East Whins. These will feed into the Park’s grid and offset part of the reduction in renewables production now that our 75kW wind turbine (erected in 1989) is being decommissioned.
You can see an article on Moya, our first wind turbine, on the Findhorn Foundation web site here.
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.
On June 23rd the new gearbox was installed in Beauty. It is very smooth running and our engineers report that she is now quieter than similar new turbines they have serviced.
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 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.