Shetland's first commercial wind energy project has begun operating near Lerwick on Mainland -- the largest of the Shetland islands some 200 kilometres north of mainland Scotland. Three 660 kW Vestas turbines were installed just before the end of December by small developer Shetland Aerogenerators Limited (SAL). According to David Thomson from SAL, the site at Burradale Hill is "outstandingly windy." Output is to be bought by Scottish Hydro-Electric under a Scottish Renewables Order (SRO) contract and supplied into the small island grid. "We had to go through quite complicated feasibility studies to show that the grid could handle the fluctuations in the system," says Thomson. Nonetheless, the site has planning permission for another two turbines which the company is actively developing.
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