Orkney Sustainable Energy are pleased to report that the Hammars Hill windfarm on mainland Orkney continues to be a success. This project has five Enercon E44 wind turbines and contributes up to 4.5MW of electricity to the Orkney grid. This project is an excellent example of a locally-owned wind energy development, and has the local authority as the largest investor. The project was structured to have around 50% of the costs provided through local investment, with the remainder provided through debt finance.
The wind energy industry in Orkney has already demonstrated an ability to generate significant social and economic benefits for the Islands. The existence of the extraordinary community of expertise in Renewable Technologies, now based in Stromness, can be traced back to the first developments on Burgar Hill in the 1980’s.
In addition to the creation of an intellectual resource, many valuable jobs have been directly created and sustained in Electrical, Mechanical & Civil Engineering, Project Design, and Environmental Consultancy. Orkney contractors, suppliers, and service providers have all had the opportunity to participate in these developments, and Orkney has benefited widely from the economic activity thus generated.
Hammars Hill Wind Energy Ltd are the owners of the windfarm, and the project has provided excellent returns to all members of the Orkney community who participated; there are no restrictions to involvement in the project. This project complements the grant-supported community wind turbines proposed for the outer isles, and provides a direct income stream for participants.
The project makes a significant and efficient contribution to the energy security of Orkney, in an age when this is a real issue. Hammars Hill Energy Ltd is a locally based and locally owned company, committed to the wide distribution of the project’s financial benefits within the Orkney Community.
Construction of the project began in the summer of 2009, with the roads and hardstandings completed by the end of the year. The turbines were ordered and delivered on schedule in 2010, and the project became live in October 2010. The site is the most productive of all the Orkney projects, and is generating over 20 GWh of renewable electricity per annum.