Windflow and North Fish (Shetland) Ltd have signed a Heads of Agreement to jointly develop the first site using a Windflow 500 turbine in the UK. The agreement is conditional on confirm certain matters within the next five months, at which time a full set of project agreements is expected to be executed. This first site is close to Lerwick on the main island of Shetland. Installation is planned for summer 2012.
NFS will use the wind-generated electricity to operate a plant to produce biofuel. The process will convert virgin timber into wood chips suitable for use in high efficiency biomass boilers. The biofuel will be supplied to local customers for heating. This operation means that Shetlanders will have access to carbon neutral biofuel at stable prices. The biofuel process can productively use wind energy when it is available, and the wind turbine need not be connected to the electricity grid. A wide range of local consultation has been carried out in recent months and a full planning application for the turbine and biofuel plant will be submitted shortly for determination.
The joint development agreement will speed the project. After commissioning, it is expected that NFS will exercise its right under the agreement to acquire Windflow’s interest in the installed turbine. Electrical contractor Bryan J Rendall Ltd will assist with the installation, operation, and maintenance of the turbine on the windy Shetland Islands, population 23,000. The company says it has 98 turbines running at high availability in the demanding wind conditions in New Zealand. The Lerwick site has 9.5 m/s annual mean wind speed which will give the turbine a higher annual energy production than any other turbine of similar rotor size.