Windflow Technology and the North Harris Trust on the Isle of Harris have agreed to work together to investigate the feasibility of a small wind project on the windy Scottish island.
The site currently has planning permission for larger three-bladed turbines but the Trust has not progressed the project in recent years due to difficulties obtaining suitable turbines. The UK’s new Feed-in-Tariff regime introduced in 2010 has made the project much more viable. Windflow and the Trust intend to look at feasibility for up to three Windflow 500 kW turbines, which would be smaller and have a lower environmental impact than the initial proposal. Windflow’s IEC-certified two-bladed design particularly suits the robust turbulent conditions at the site.
The North Harris Trust is pleased that the project may be resurrected. “The site is very windy and it would be great to turn that wind into power, and some funds for the community, said David Cameron, Chair of North Harris Trading. “Working with Windflow who have the ideal turbine for the site and staff in Scotland enables us to take a second look”.
If the site is deemed feasible for development, the Trust would have a minimum 10% (up to 30%) ownership of the project and proportion of revenue from electricity sales. As the Trust also owns the land, it would receive a separate annual land rental. While the site has planning permission already, an important hurdle yet to be overcome is the availability of an electrical grid connection to take the output of the project. The issue of capacity constraints on the local grid needs to be worked through with the local network operator before any decision to proceed can be made. While it is unclear how long this will take, Windflow is very pleased that the Trust has selected it to progress the project.
Windflow CEO/Director and founder Geoff Henderson has just spent two weeks in the UK working with the Windflow UK team to progress this and other projects. Mr Henderson said, “I developed and tested the innovations of the Windflow 500’s predecessor in the UK and worked on a wind project in Orkney in the 1980s so I’m looking forward to seeing the ‘next generation’ Windflow turbine back on a Scottish island.”
Windflow Technology has over 80 turbines installed in New Zealand, with proven performance in very windy and turbulent conditions, similar to those in Scotland. The Windflow 500 is one of the only turbines certified to the highest international standard (IEC Class 1A, Edition 3) and its quality components are manufactured in the UK, NZ, Australia and Europe. Both the New Zealand and UK Governments are supportive of the Windflow turbine for the UK market, with the company winning UK Trade and Investment’s Market Entry competition late last year.
Windflow Technology has established operations in UK. It now has two full-time staff there who are working closely with its UK distributor VG Energy, which is growing rapidly to address the UK opportunity for small and mid-size turbines. There are planning applications for around 20 Windflow turbines in Scotland, the first of which received planning permission in December.
The ownership structure of the potential project would be finalized after project viability was confirmed as other parties may become involved as the project progresses.
About Windflow Technology: Windflow Technology is a publicly listed New Zealand company (NZAX:WTL) with approximately 50 staff that designs and manufactures the Windflow 500 turbine. The Windflow 500 turbine is proven in strong, turbulent winds and is IEC certified. The company set up UK operations in late 2010 and uses only quality components from the UK, NZ, Australia and Europe.
About North Harris Trust: The North Harris Trust is a registered charity, that was established in 2003 to manage the North Harris Estate when it was bought by the local community. The Trust aims to increase employment opportunities, address local housing needs and protect and enhance north Harris’ wonderful cultural and natural heritage.