Western Link failure leaves energy users facing £36m bill

Posted: May 12, 2019 by tallbloke in Big Green, Subsidies, wind
[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]

From the Times:

Consumers in England and Wales may have to pay millions of pounds in compensation to Scottish wind farms after a £1.1 billion underwater cable failed for a second time.

The Western Link, which connects Hunterston in Ayrshire and Connah’s Quay on Deeside, will be out of action until the end of May as engineers tackle a failure 90 miles off the Scottish coast.

The Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity analysing the green energy market, suggested the “relatively untried” technology of the Western Link could be behind its repeated failures.

Payments are made to wind farm operators when they turn off turbines, should supply outstrip local demand or bottlenecks in the grid prevent exports.

Full story (£££)

Comments
  1. Curious George says:

    That contract is the stuff that dreams are made of.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Heads they win, tails we lose.

  3. stewgreen says:

    Ah that Times’ article is from April 22nd
    I wrote on April 24th after reading a Power industry article
    \\ The western link interconnector cable that connects Scotland’s windfarms to Chester has been off since April 6th and won’t be back until end of May
    That’s at least 5th failure
    so has rarely worked
    .. and windfarms are getting constraint payments.”

  4. stewgreen says:

    List of previous problems
    http://www.westernhvdclink.co.uk/news.aspx

    And even tho the smart meter project is also way way behind schedule
    any plan to reduce UK CO2 emissions to zero is such and such a year will certainly work
    /sarc

    Policymakers live in lalaland as regards their optimism about greendream projects.
    Bet you were surprised that the Tesla Model3 is years late to the Uk

  5. tom0mason says:

    http://www.westernhvdclink.co.uk/news.aspx is keeping everyone up-to-date by providing no new information. Not that I expected much, so I wasn’t that disappointed.

    After this underwater cable failed are the windmills able to rotate if they’re becalmed in still air, I believe this is necessary to keep their bearings good. If not and the bearings fail are these replacement parts included in the bill? Or will that be a new expense.

    Cost a lot to get this unreliable ‘free’ energy. 😦

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    tomOmason:
    The major reason for regular turning of wind turbines is to prevent sagging of the drive shaft. Much as large USN ships turn their propellers (slowly and intermittently) while in harbour, and steam turbines in power stations being run at 3 r.p.m. when they are Off Line.
    I don’t know about the bearings on wind turbines, I assume that they have a lifetime long enough for the turbine to reach its end-of-life.
    One thing I am sure we will agree on is that the amount of electricity used to turn the turbines over in calm (or slight speed) air won’t ever be deducted from the claimed amount of that generated.

  7. oldbrew says:

    which connects Hunterston in Ayrshire and Connah’s Quay on Deeside

    Which could be done without an expensive £1.1 billion undersea cable at all, by upgrading the National Grid?


  8. ivan says:

    Two questions, 1) Who owns the cable? and 2) Why was it built apart from being experimental?

    I would add a third, 3) Why should the British population pay for the subsidy farmers cockup?

    The owners of the cable should be the ones paying because it broke down – your car breaks down you pay not the manufacturer and whoever wrote the contract for supply of unreliable wind power should be out of a job because that is not the way to do it, putting unreliables before reliable generators but I suspect that was more green slime at work.

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