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Argyll Grid Constraints Blocking Community Renewables

OFGEM say next review due in 2015

According to a joint statement from various Argyll community groups up to 10MW of community renewable energy projects in the county are currently on hold because of grid constraints. These projects have the potential to generate aan income of £1.5 million a year for local communities.

Weak radial networks mean much of Argyll’s grid is unable to cope with additional embedded generation beyond a  50kW threshold, and meanwhile there is no  way to link local energy consumption with local generation.

A spokesman for the community groups said:

“Iin addition to making a significant contribution to meeting national renewable energy  targets, communities in Argyll currently have a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure long term, substantial and independent income streams from renewable energy.”

OFGEM point out that grid upgrades have to be paid for by consumers nationwide, and say they will be addressing the issue of grid constraints in their next review in 2015.  The Scottish Government have said they are looking for ways round these choke points, but in the meantime Argyll communities are losing out.

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