EXCLUSIVE: Scottish Energy News
On the back of the recent dramatic UK-govt. cuts in the UK FiT for small-medium scale wind turbines, there is now only one band that provides attractive returns given the right wind turbine in the right site – the 0-50kW band.
Moreover, the sub-50kW band appears to present an exceptionally strong business opportunity as the Department of Energy (DECC) strongly indicated that it was their intention to have this ‘band’ relatively unconstrained and therefore attractive to investors.
However, to qualify for the FiT in this band, the wind turbine must be fully certified via the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. And whilst this is an expensive and time consuming activity, it does serve to eliminate the weaker suppliers. As it stands, wind turbines above 50kW do not need MCS certification.
The recent changes to the FiT by DECC resulted in poor returns for those wanting to develop sites for turbines in the >50kW space.
One supplier, Orenda Energy, has been able to modify its 51kW wind turbine to become a 49kW wind turbine as a result of the flexible proprietary control systems that lie at the heart of its 51kW Skye Turbine, often the choice of landowners, farmers, investors and wind-parc developers.
Steve McMahon, VP Sales and Marketing, Orenda Energy, believes that there is still a very healthy return to be had in the small-medium wind market, even in light of the slashed FiT.
He said: “This might be a big ask for others within this space to do likewise, so this top end of the FiT band continues to remain a promising prospect for the savvy investor via the Skye turbine, once our MCS certification is completed in the next couple of months.
“There are clearly exciting times ahead for the savvy investor who sees the benefits of the sub-50kW turbine market. Above that threshold, it becomes more difficult for small-medium wind turbine suppliers to offer the investor a sufficient return.
“Above all, Scotland remains open to the investor community where developing a portfolio of assets that incorporates ‘small wind’ remains an attractive proposition.”