Wind Power

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 30th January 2012.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith Conservative, Skipton and Ripon

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what guidance his Department gives on payments to wind turbine owners when they are ordered to shut down by the National Grid during periods of high winds.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Reducing or increasing output is a normal part of National Grid's role in balancing electricity supply and demand, and wind is treated like any other generator in this respect. Less than 10% of all payments made to generators to alter their output to resolve network constraints ('constraint payments') in 2011 were made to wind farms. The Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) defines the rules for electricity balancing and settlement in GB. It is governed by the BSC Panel, which comprises a Chairman appointed by Ofgem as well as industry, independent and consumer members. Ofgem will take the final decision on any BSC modification proposals, having received a recommendation from the BSC Panel.

The Government recognise that no generator of any type should receive an excessive benefit from network constraints, so we are currently consulting on the introduction of a Transmission Constraint Licence Condition later this year which will help to tackle this. In parallel, Ofgem is consulting on guidance as to how it will interpret and enforce the licence condition. Planned upgrades to the transmission network will take effect from 2013 onwards, and will also ease constraints.

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