I was amazed to read that, ‘in this day and age’, the 55 islanders on Fair Isle sometimes had to face periods of outage between 11pm and 7am if there had not been enough wind to generate power. I was doubly amazed in that I’d taken for granted that the wind there never ever stopped. I’d heard they had to tie small children to posts to stop them blowing away.
Anyhow, they’ve just been award £2.6 million to build three 60KW wind turbines and a 50 KW solar array and battery storage. According to Energy Voice, the money is coming from a number of sources including the Big Lottery, European Regional Fund, Shetland Islands Council, National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Water and the Fair Isle Bird Observatory.
Not mentioned in the Energy Voice piece was the fact that the Scottish government has pledged half the cost of the project (£1.325m). Wonder why? The National Trust who own the island are putting in a £100 000!
It’s hoped reliable electricity might persuade some to boost the island’s population. Mind you, I’d always thought that power cuts boosted the birth-rate.