Renewable Energy Foundation

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Weekend constraint payments record

Constraint payments to wind farms in the United Kingdom totalled £7.12m over the weekend, 28–29 July 2018, making it the most expensive weekend to date and well above the previous record of £5.87m for 24-25 June 2017. Constraints on Saturday the 28th of July amounted to £4.41m, and on Sunday the 29th to £2.71m.

The total volume of electricity curtailed was also a UK weekend record at 81.51 GWh. That is equivalent to the annual consumption of electrical energy of about 20,000 households.

The number of grid-connected (Balancing Mechanism) wind farms receiving payments for cutting output was also a record at 56 onshore (55 in Scotland and 1 in Wales), and 13 offshore.

When wind farms are constrained, this can be a fraction of the output of which they are capable at the relevant period. Over the last weekend, however, some 67 windfarms were 100% constrained, i.e. were completely shut down, at some time period, mostly between 10pm and midnight (Settlement Periods 44-48) on Saturday night.

Interestingly, while onshore wind in Scotland continued to provide the bulk of these constraints, at 70% of the money and 81% of the energy, offshore wind in England cost the consumer £1.75m to constrain off, accounting for 25% of the UK–wide cost. English offshore wind, however, accounted for only 15% of the energy discarded, reflecting the very much higher prices paid to offshore wind due to the higher lost subsidy, though, as with onshore wind, the constraint payment prices paid actually exceed the lost income by a considerable margin.

Table 1. Onshore wind farms in receipt of constraint payments over the weekend 28–29 July, 2018. Variations in the subsidy per MWh foregone reflect the different RO bands, where older windfarms receive 1 ROC per MWh and new windfarms receive 0.9 ROC per MWh. The value of a ROC is assumed to be £50 per MWh.

Onshore Wind Farm Constraint Payment Energy constrained off (MWh) £/MWh constrained off Subsidy foregone £/MWh
Clyde £758,113 10,911 £69 £50
Whitelee £535,231 7,802 £69 £50
Crystal Rig II £261,373 3,044 £86 £50
Kilgallioch £201,482 1,501 £134 £45
Griffin £196,971 2,914 £68 £50
Fallago £194,552 3,003 £65 £50
Dunmaglass £132,162 2,116 £62 £45
Arecleoch £131,120 1,983 £66 £50
Aikengall £123,019 1,267 £97 £45
Bhlaraidh £120,359 1,927 £62 £45
Brockloch Rig £110,463 1,293 £85 £45
Farr £108,740 1,528 £71 £50
Black Law £103,571 1,522 £68 £50
Strathy North £102,271 1,637 £62 £45
Beinneun £96,757 996 £97 £45
Baillie £94,467 972 £97 £50
Camster £94,090 1,009 £93 £50
Kilbraur £92,903 1,253 £74 £50
Pauls Hill £91,356 1,050 £87 £50
Hadyard Hill £74,391 1,191 £62 £50
Galawhistle £68,421 846 £81 £45
Rothes £67,237 773 £87 £50
Dersalloch £66,791 1,075 £62 £45
Millennium £63,965 863 £74 £50
Lochluichart £62,988 806 £78 £45
A'Chruach £62,449 774 £81 £45
Andershaw £60,617 621 £98 £45
Black Law Ext. £55,953 901 £62 £45
Blackcraig £52,385 537 £98 £45
Moy £50,818 651 £78 £45
Auchrobert £47,733 641 £74 £45
Whiteside Hill £46,066 525 £88 £45
Sanquhar £40,847 411 £99 £45
Mark Hill £38,538 567 £68 £50
Clashindarroch £38,025 481 £79 £45
Burn of Whilk £37,470 470 £80 £45
Edinbane £35,997 436 £83 £50
Ewe Hill II £35,703 575 £62 £45
Minsca £35,345 429 £82 £50
Carraig £32,665 347 £94 £50
Beinn Tharsuinn £29,787 440 £68 £50
Corriemoillie £29,508 398 £74 £45
Pen y Cymoedd £27,302 275 £99 £45
Foudland £26,216 313 £84 £50
Toddleburn £26,072 384 £68 £50
Dunlaw £25,272 372 £68 £50
Beinn an Tuirc £24,593 363 £68 £50
Corriegarth £23,485 289 £81 £45
Minnygap £21,734 235 £92 £45
Dalswinton £20,547 250 £82 £50
Tullo Ext. £20,332 260 £78 £45
Hare Hill £19,189 309 £62 £45
Freasdail £17,842 216 £83 £45
Tullo £16,425 206 £80 £50
Glen App £16,080 259 £62 £45
An Suidhe £11,285 163 £69 £50
Assel Valley £10,634 143 £74 £45
Crystal Rig III £7,555 88 £86 £45
Clachan Flats £4,531 67 £68 £50

 

Table 2. Offshore wind farms in receipt of constraint payments over the weekend 28-29 July, 2018. Variations in the subsidy per MWh foregone reflect the different RO bands. See Notes on the Renewable Obligation for the different band values for offshore wind farms. The value of a ROC is assumed to be £50 per MWh.

Offshore Wind Farm Constraint Payment Energy constrained off (MWh)

£/MWh constrained off

Subsidy foregone £/MWh
West of Duddon £1,005,892 6,817 £148 £100
Ormonde £225,341 1,757 £128 £100
Robin Rig East £209,695 1,384 £152 £100
Walney Ext. £166,588 1,012 £165 £90
Robin Rig West £156,866 1,339 £117 £75
Walney £141,517 851 £166 £100
Thanet £72,807 542 £134 £100
Race Bank £40,758 283 £144 £90
Barrow £37,413 434 £86 £50
Humber Offshore £34,814 223 £156 £100
Lincs £15,742 100 £158 £100
Gwynt y Mor £5,752 36 £159 £100
London Array £4,047 27 £151 £100
Westermost £3,393 19 £179 £100
Greaater Gabbard £2,258 14 £159 £100

 

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