Power firms fined

Wind farms paid to switch off over cable delays

Beinn an Tuirc 3 wind farm on Kintyre

Some wind farms were paid to switch off

ScottishPower and National Grid will pay a record £158 million compensation to consumers after wind farms were paid to switch off because of delays to a new subsea cable to export power from Scotland to Wales.

The regulator said the delays made it hard for renewable energy generators in Scotland to export green electricity to England and Wales from wind farms and led to higher costs to households as alternative sources of energy were used to plug the gap.

In the first two months of 2020 alone about £69m was paid out in compensation to energy firms for turning off turbines when the network was unable to cope with the power they produce.

The £1.2 billion Western Link runs from Ayrshire via a 239-mile subsea cable to the Wirral peninsula on Merseyside and then follows a 20-mile stretch underground to North Wales.

It can carry more than 2.2 gigawatts of electricity or enough to power two million homes and was meant to be up and running by late 2015.

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