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Wind energy is once again powering the homes of Fair Isle to the north of Scotland. Two wind turbines have been commissioned in a joint project between the Fair Isle Community and the National Trust for Scotland. The turbines -- a brand new model and a re-built WindMatic 55 kW -- work in tandem and now provide the principal source of power to the islanders. Rolls-Royce is the company behind the custom designed system. The company reconstructed and upgraded the island's original 55 kW turbine -- installed in 1982 in what the National Trust for Scotland claims to be the first commercial application of wind energy in Europe. The machine came to the end of it designed life in 1996. Last year Rolls-Royce added a second wind turbine, of its own design and rated at 100 kW, on a different site to take advantage of varying wind directions. The 100 kW unit was custom designed from off-the-shelf components by Rolls Royce and is its first foray into wind turbine manufacture. Both machines are synchronised and will be maintained and run by the islanders.
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