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Wind Farms Paid £10,000 A Day To Sit Idle In Blustery Conditions

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Tim Webb, The Times

Consumer groups are calling for an audit of the costs of wind farms after it emerged that operators are receiving additional and lucrative payments not to generate in blustery weather.

National Grid has begun paying wind farms to turn themselves off to balance the system when either electricity demand plummets or the amount of power generated is higher than anticipated. These extra costs are passed on to electricity suppliers such as British Gas and ultimately paid for by consumers in the shape of higher energy bills. […]

The payments highlight the costs of managing the growing number of wind farms, and the lack of any technology for storing the electricity they generate when it isn’t needed. In the early hours of January 30 this year, National Grid paid the owners of London Array, one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world, over 14 times the wholesale price of electricity to reduce their output. Four wind farms in total off the South East coast received payments amounting to £10,000 that day.

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