Sunday, 24 November 2013

Looking back and forward

A visit from the Mull based accredited wind turbine installer today, to look at the possible site for a 3rd turbine.  We are currently generating about 80% of our usage (including cottages, office, laundry). With a 3rd turbine we will be able to generate the balance and also enough to cover the Schoolhouse, and the proposed cabin.

Our first turbine, the Proven 6kW, was put up in October 2009. Our expectations were exceeded in the first year, and in the second and third.  The Kingspan 6kW installed last November, identical in all but name, has more than exceeded our expectations - generating about 7,000 kilowatt hours more than the Proven.  

We have had many discussions between ourselves, the installers and others, as to why there is such a big difference between the 2, but we hope now that recent conversations with Kingspan might have pinpointed 2 factors which may explain the 50% difference in output between them.    A bit of work to be done but hopefully it will improve things. 


We walked up to the proposed site with N to confirm whether or not it would be suitable or not - looking for 'clean wind'.   It appears to be a good site from that point of view, so we now need to start a planning application…

The first thing we needed to do was to take a photograph from a certain corner on the road to Salen, for the photomontage.  Farmer lent his cap to the top of a 5m pole so that it was more noticeable, and I headed off down the road to take the picture.

There has been some exciting news on the wood chip front… Earlier this week a deal was concluded on the sale of the Crannich Woodfuel business to our local community woodland (North West Mull Community Woodland Company).  Crannich Woodfuel have been great suppliers - very reliable and consistently thoughtful and helpful, so we will miss them - but acquiring their business will be a fantastic opportunity for NWMCWC, helping create job opportunities locally.  It is great news for the mileage factor for us in using their wood chip, as it means eventually that the timber will not only be supplied from 4 miles away but will be chipped there (rather than currently at Crannich) before being delivered here.   We already buy our softwood logs from the community woodland, and they are about to start supplying us with kindling as well.  

We had some visitors the other day who were thinking of installing a biomass boiler, and it was interesting to talk to them about their plans, as well as sparking off some reminiscences for us too, looking back to the process we went through in choosing our system, and the installers, and wondering if we would do any of it differently if we were to do it again.  I was reminded of the extreme fear I felt when our boiler first arrived, wondering how I would ever cope with the technology. But now 4 and a half years later, I suppose a relationship of trust has built up between us and the boiler… it has broken down a few times, but (touch wood) we either know what to do now, or failing that, who to call.  

Farmer has been out checking the tups each day, and this afternoon he used Walter to move some sheep from one field to another.    He is keen to please which is half the battle. 

I went to a busy Producers Market in Dervaig - the pre-Christmas one.  It was mobbed, with a good selection of local produce - pork, sausages, lamb, haggis, Christmas puddings and lots more.  

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