The Burradale windfarm above the Brig of Fitch will be open to the public this weekend as part of a Highlands and Islands-wide event designed to promote wind power.
Visitors will be able to see the world’s most productive wind turbine, named Betsy, one of five that contribute on average 7-8 per cent of Shetland’s electricity needs, on Saturday or Sunday between 11.30am and 4pm.
Amid the controversy over the proposed Viking Energy windfarm, the much smaller Burradale operation has been a quiet success story, recently repaying the remaining investment made by Shetland Development Trust, over three years ahead of schedule.
The festival has been organised by Scottish Renewables, the industry’s trade body, with the support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. A dedicated website has been set up to enable people to see the wide range of events taking place from Shetland to the Solway coast www.renewablesfestival.com. The festival also kicks off UK Wind Week, a celebration of wind power across the UK.
Anna Allan, senior development manager of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “We’re really excited about this event, as it’s the first time that something like this has been held in the Highlands and Islands. We’re aiming to celebrate the region’s achievements in developing renewable energy sources, and give the public a chance to explore the future of renewables in the region.
“We are committed to encouraging the growth and development of the renewable energy sector in order to meet and exceed the targets set by the Scottish and UK governments. Therefore, increasing public awareness and understanding of renewable energy – and its importance to the region – is vital.
“The events that are planned throughout the weekend aim to give the public the chance to experience renewables first-hand and ask questions about the projects that are currently underway in the Highlands and Islands.”
Jason Ormiston, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “The Highlands and Islands of Scotland have some of the best renewable energy resources in the world and the engineering talent to match. Festival goers in the Highlands and Islands will be so inspired by what is on show that I am sure they will consider what they and their families can do themselves. The sheer diversity of renewable energy technologies on show means that there should be something for everyone and we would encourage people to see green energy in action.”