The Allt Dearg Community Wind Farm, which is partly owned by the Ardrishaig community, has reached record breaking levels of energy production in the first year of operation.
The very windy weather that caused problems in Argyll throughout December pushed the wind farm’s energy output close to a monthly Capacity Factor of 75%, and the annual Capacity Factor to over 50%.
Capacity Factor is the measure of actual energy production as a percentage of the theoretical maximum output, assuming the wind farm operates constantly at full capacity. The average UK wind farm Capacity Factor is around 25%.
These output figures put Allt Dearg near the top of the performance tables for mainland wind farm energy production, and were achieved despite power exports from Allt Dearg being restricted for three weeks in August due to a SSE cable fault under the Crinan Canal. Renewable Energy Data published by the Government next Spring will show how the locally owned wind farm measures up against competition nationwide.
The Ardrishaig Community Trust received income of £130,000 in 2013, from their investment in the Allt Dearg Wind Farm. The next payment is due in May.
James Lithgow of Ormsary said: “ These output figures are very encouraging. The Shetland and Orkney Islands have historically held the top spot for wind farm performance, however if Allt Dearg is not the top-performing wind farm in the UK, then we are not too far away. December was particularly windy, with an average speed of 35 mph, and gusts of over 115 mph, this winter weather translates directly into energy output”.
Hamish Nicol of the Ardrishaig Trust said: “Allt Dearg continues to demonstrate the advantages of local ownership in wind energy. It is some compensation for the terrible weather we have been having, that Allt Dearg is able to convert the Argyllshire gales into Pounds and Pence to be invested in our community.”