The 3 MW wind turbine at Burgar Hill on Orkney is under new management. Only a month after it began operating again for the first time since its closure three years ago, De Montfort University pulled out of the restoration project. Orkney company Sustainable Resources is now negotiating for the transfer of the lease to a new company which it is forming to operate the machine. The 60 metre experimental turbine, made by the Wind Energy Group, was closed down three years ago when cracks were discovered in the blade hub section and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wrote it off as scrap. But a private investors club led by John Twidell of the AMSET Centre at De Montfort University was formed to recommission it. The DTI leased the turbine to De Montfort University for a nominal sum, the cracks were repaired and by mid August it was back in service and running at full load. Now power from the turbine is being sold to electricity company Scottish Hydro Electric (HE). In spite of the very low price, £0.014 /kWh, offered by HE, Sustainable Resources believes the machine will still return a small profit. We expect it to earn us around £50,000 a year which will more than cover our operating costs, says Richard Gauld of Sustainable Resources.
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