Hope could be on the horizon for the owners of large Proven wind turbines in Shetland which have stood still for seven weeks for safety reasons and face an uncertain future.
With Proven Energy driven out of business by the flaw in the P35-2 rotor shaft, the Ayrshire-based renewables company VG Energy has stepped into the void. It is seeking a technical fix for the weld problem with a view to modifying its own large fleet of the machines and those of its customers around the country.
In the process VG intends to regain certification for the turbine model so that it and the other owners can start earning lucrative Feed-in-Tariff subsidies again.
It has also been reported this week that VG hopes to offer the fix eventually to other owners of the £60,000 P35-2 machines, of which there are at least six in Shetland.
However, when contacted yesterday VG said it did not want to speak about its plans at this stage.
The crisis involving the P35-2 has delivered a severe blow to the small-scale wind generation sector in Shetland and Scotland. The financial backers of Proven Energy pulled out after a rash of turbine failures, tipping the company into receivership and taking one of its main installers, Icon Energy, into liquidation. Icon had supplied four P35-2s to Shetland customers.
Proven’s assets were snapped up by Irish multinational Kingspan but it washed its hands of all Proven’s customers and discontinued the P35-2 model for at least another year. It has just relaunched the two smaller P11 and P7 turbines under the names KW6 and KW3.
Turbine owners who have been left in the lurch by Proven and Icon’s problems were advised to make claims to Proven’s receivers at KPMG.