Summarizing the story below, a windfarm in Scotland had to turn off its turbines because there was too much wind. Fine, turn 'em off.
But why in the world should they be paid compensation for turning them off? Aren't they in business? Isn't it their own problem if they have to turn off their turbines. Why do they get compensation? The government pays them for all the electricity they're not generation?
From The Sun: Wind farms shut because it's too windy
NATIONAL GRID has been forced to ask wind farms to shut down for the second time in a MONTH - because it's too windy.
Seven wind farm operators switched off their turbines on Monday night.
National Grid said they were generating TOO MUCH power as storms ripped across Scotland.
It leaves taxpayers with yet another bill. National Grid has to pay wind farm operators compensation when asking them to stop the turbines.
National Grid said: "It was very windy yesterday and there was some curtailment of wind generation."
Despite huge subsidies for wind farm operators, National Grid claims its network is not ready to handle the power surge in storms.
Demand for electricity also drops off late at night.
National Grid paid out almost £3 million to wind farm operators in compensation in mid-September when a dozen wind farms were shut for three nights in a row.
Fred Olsen Renewables pocketed £1.2 million.
The Grid spokesman insisted: "This is all a normal part of how we balance the electricity transmission system and manage constraints on the network."
The Telegraph has more information. Electricity from windpower can not be stored, so if a windfarm is generating too much electricity, it has to be shut down... and that nasty old nuclear or coal has to take over!
Energy firms will receive thousands of pounds a day per wind farm to turn off their turbines because the National Grid cannot use the power they are producing.
Critics of wind farms have seized on the revelation as evidence of the unsuitability of turbines to meet the UK's energy needs in the future. They claim that the 'intermittent' nature of wind makes such farms unreliable providers of electricity.
The National Grid fears that on breezy summer nights, wind farms could actually cause a surge in the electricity supply which is not met by demand from businesses and households.
The electricity cannot be stored, so one solution – known as the 'balancing mechanism' – is to switch off or reduce the power supplied.
The system is already used to reduce supply from coal and gas-fired power stations when there is low demand. But shutting down wind farms is likely to cost the National grid – and ultimately consumers – far more. When wind turbines are turned off, owners are being deprived not only of money for the electricity they would have generated but also lucrative 'green' subsidies for that electricity.
The first successful test shut down of wind farms took place three weeks ago. Scottish Power received £13,000 for closing down two farms for a little over an hour on 30 May at about five in the morning.
Whereas coal and gas power stations often pay the National Grid £15 to £20 per megawatt hour they do not supply, Scottish Power was paid £180 per megawatt hour during the test to switch off its turbines.
It raises the prospect of hugely profitable electricity suppliers receiving large sums of money from the National Grid just for switching off wind turbines.
Dr Lee Moroney, planning director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, a think tank opposed to the widespread introduction of wind farms, said: "As more and more wind farms come on stream this will become more and more of an issue. Wind power is not controllable and does not provide a solid supply to keep the national grid manageable. Paying multinational companies large sums of money not to supply electricity seems wrong."
Earlier this year, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that electricity customers are paying more than £1 billion a year to subsidise wind farms and other forms of renewable energy.
The proceeds of the levy, known as the Renewables Obligation (RO), are divided between the main renewable energy sources, with wind receiving 40 per cent, landfill gas 25 per cent, biomass 20 per cent, hydroelectric 12 per cent and sewage gas 3 per cent.
Professor Michael Laughton, emeritus professor of electrical engineering at the University of London, said: "People will find it very hard to understand that an electricity company is getting paid the market rate plus a subsidy for doing nothing. It is essentially a waste of consumers' money."
A National Grid spokesman said: "The trial demonstrates that wind can help balance supply and demand just like other generation types: this is potentially useful to us on warm but windy summer days when generation outstrips the low demand – and a higher proportion of generation is made up of wind and inflexible nuclear."
The spokesman added: "The trial is something supporters of wind energy should welcome, as it gives evidence to their case that wind generation does not bring insurmountable problems to balancing supply and demand."
A spokesman for RenewableUK, the trade body which represents the renewable energy industry, said all suppliers to the National Grid periodically were asked to reduce output to control the balancing mechanism. He said it was simply evidence of the growing part wind energy had to play in Britain's supply needs that turbines would occasionally be taken off the National Grid. He added: "REF exists to misrepresent any piece of information and turn it into a scandal or crisis. The reality is the National Grid's job is to ensure we have adequate capacity to meet demand at any one time."
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