Offshore wind farms drawing electricity from grid to keep turning in icy conditions

Energy firm confirms wind turbines need to draw electricity from grid at times, but point out that all power stations use electricity as well as generating it

Gordon Rayner
The Telegraph [UK]
31 Dec 2014

Offshore wind farms are drawing power from the National Grid to keep turning and prevent them icing up in subzero temperatures, it has emerged.

The turbines need to idle slowly when temperatures plunge in calm conditions to stop ice forming and to power hydraulic systems that turn the blades into the wind.

Critics of wind farms, which cost three times as much as conventional power stations per unit of energy produced, said it was “another example of why wind farms are difficult and expensive to manage”, but industry bodies pointed out that all power stations use electricity as well as generating it.

The phenomenon was pointed out in the Telegraph’s letters page by Brian Christley, of Conwy, who said that “over the weekend just gone, the coldest of the year so far, all 100-plus offshore wind turbines along the North Wales coast were idling very slowly, using grid power for de-icing”.

Rob Norris, a spokesman for the industry body RenewableUK, confirmed that wind farms used electricity to keep their systems running, but said it was a “tiny fraction” of the amount of power they generated…



The article continues at The Telegraph.




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