New Shetland turbine is almost Viking-sized

Published on June 26th 2015

The huge blades and other components arrived in June and had plenty room to move on the areas reclaimed from the sea by Lerwick Port Authority.

Shetland’s biggest wind turbine is due to begin powering island homes and businesses later this year.

The site at Luggie’s Knowe, north of Lerwick, is being made ready for the 3MW Enercon turbine to be lifted into place and fitted out over the summer after arriving from Germany in large sections.

The project belongs to local family firm Shetland Aerogenerators which owns and operates the successful Burradale wind farm, three miles away. Family members are also involved in Viking Energy.

The Enercon E-82 E4 should produce more electricity than 4 of the 5 Burradale turbines combined even though it will be less than twice as high. It is designed to keep generating power in storm force 10 winds.

With a tip height of 121 metres, it will stand about 11 metres lower than the 3.6MW turbine model which Viking Energy based its wind farm application on.

Island contractors have been busily engaged on the Luggie’s Knowe project. Civil works, such as excavation, building the access road and supplying the concrete, were carried out by Shetland’s Garriock Bros while Orkney renewables firm Bryan J Rendall is doing the specialist electrical works.

Pouring the concrete foundation in May.

The bottom section is in place and the hill top is already starting to recover.

The site is scrutinised by ecologists and archaeologists — mainly locally based — who ensure no harm comes to birds during the nesting season nor to any manmade structures of historical interest.

It will be interesting to see if the Luggie’s Knowe turbine can outperform Shetland Aerogenerators’ older machines, which can be seen across the voe on a clear day. According to the firm, Burradale is the world’s most productive onshore wind farm for its size with an average capacity factor of 52% over 15 years— nearly twice that of the average UK onshore wind farm.

Look out for more updates on the Luggie’s Knowe turbine in the coming months.

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