When Sròndoire Wind Farm first connected to the grid, there was a limit on the total allowable export. In wet and windy weather, when the 500 kW hydro scheme, which shares Sròndoire's grid connection was at full power, the wind farm was limited to 5.4 MW, around 90% of full output. After several years of complex legal and contractual review Scottish Hydro Power Distribution have removed this contractual limitation, to allow the wind and hydro stations to maximise their production and power exports.
Grid access is a major issue for renewable energy projects in remote locations with poor electrical infrastructure, added to the engineering issues are contractual complications, where older speculative generation projects have filled the queue and taken up the theoretical electrical capacity of the network. The Network operators have since implemented revised connection offers with "use it or lose it" clauses, to prevent queue blocking. However a number of "dead" projects continue to prevent live projects from meeting their full potential exports, limiting the amounts of renewable energy produced. Sròndoire had been offered additional capacity from 2021, after completion of upgrade works by the National Grid. After a complex and frustrating process lasting several years, SHPD have started to implement a common sense queue management regime, bringing forward connection dates for curtailed projects, where the limitations have been contractual rather than technical. This should lead to a significant increase in renewable power generation as grid constraints are lifted. Sròndoire Wind Farm will be able to significantly increase generation and improve productivity. We are very grateful to the team at Scottish Hydro who have worked hard over many years to untangle a complex contractual and regulatory problem, and deliver a sensible solution years ahead of contract.