Our 4 wind turbines generate 24kW of power.


The wind generators are located to the south of An Sgurr, along the track leading to the ruined settlements of Upper and Lower Grulin, just beyond the Piper’s Cairn.

Here, four wind generators stand at the head of a long view over the southern slopes of the island and across the sea to Muck and Coll, Ardnamurchan Point, Mull and the Treshnish Isles. During the winter months, the sun sets over Muck and the windmills make a spectacular contribution to the whole scene. This location was chosen because, of all possible sites on the island, it offered the best combination of exposure to wind with minimal turbulence, accessibility and best fit in the landscape, with minimal visual impact from all directions.

The wind generators are each 6kW, 3 phase Proven machines.  The voltage generated by these varies with wind speed and so their output cannot be fed direct into the grid. Instead, it is rectified on site and the direct current power produced is fed through inverters to produce alternating current power at the required stable output voltage needed for transformation up to grid voltage. A transformer at the site connects the wind generators to the grid and supplies also the domestic properties in the Galmisdale area.

7 thoughts on “Wind

  1. Hi, could you tell me how the 6KW wind turbines are faring? If 6KW is maximum power output, what is the annual “real world” output from these machines ? Thanks Mick

    • Hi there – the wind turbines are now the smallest contributor of power to the system since we installed another 40kW of PV. However, they provide a significant proportion of the electricity we generate. Overall, the 24kW wind, 110kW hydro and 50kW PV generators provide just over 90% of Eigg’s annual electricity requirements.

  2. Within 7 miles of me in Denny a grand green scheme is being operated by a small self contained village called FINTRY. They are using a share of the proceeds of a close by windfarm to develop solar heating, ground heat extraction, etc. Windfarm output I believe is 13 x 2000Kw. The group running this is very knowledgable and very helpful. It may be worthwhile having a word with them.

  3. I read with interest Desmond’s thoughts. There are as he says always snags. One is that pump storage schemes like Cruachan have the turbine internals slightly modified to work both ways. Also using a wind output of 24KW is hardly enough to push 100KW of water back up the hill. What is really needed is a bigger reservoir at the top. If you look at the map of Eigg and study the cachment area you will find much of the cachment is fed into several small lochs which don’t seem to be connected to the Laig Burn. Subject to ecological and SEPA considerations, these could be linked together by small diameter pipes to create a more lasting and consistant flow to the burn, being used. The head of water is not the main problem with the Laig Hydro Generator, it is the back up volume. At my last visit to Eigg I got the impression the lochs utilisation was being considered. The other two little Hydros also seem to have no sustainable volume, so they too could do with some kind of Dam/Reservoir. Hope to visit Eigg again to see the progress and introduce the islanders to electric personal transportation via SEGWAY.

  4. I have studied your installation and I am quite puzzled why you use wind turbines to generate electricity to feed the grid. Surely the system efficiency would be improved if you used the wind power to raise water to your reservoir, using your water generators as pumps? Or even using separate directly driven wind pumps? Such a scheme would make much more use of the wind power with its disconnection between supply and demand.

    • Thanks for your interest – what you suggest in terms of using wind power to pump water up to a reservoir to increase the scheme’s efficiency is very interesting. At the moment there is no reservoir, the hydro simply works off the water that passes through that stream. As with the vagaries of wind, or indeed of available sunlight, the amount of water passing through the stream varies with how much rain we have. Thus the current system makes the most of what’s available at any one time, and is the most efficient given the renewable resources that are readily available to us at the moment. However we are looking at how we might add to and increase the whole scheme’s efficiency overall using a variety of methods, including perhaps creating a greater head of water and so greater potential energy generation and storage.

      • Thanks for your very interesting response. My suggestion was made with (very) limited knowledge of the situation and I know only too well from experience with spacecraft power systems that good system designs need an unbiased, open approach.

        I think the money in your project was for “new technology” demonstration by the sponsors, nothing wrong with that if they are picking up the bill.
        My spacecraft systems used solar panel/battery combination 40 years ago, even then I was plagued by all sorts of special interests who not infrequently threatened to report me to the management for misbehaviour if I didn’t support their demands!

        I would imagine the improvements to the water delivery that you mention would be a very effective improvement, having the great merit of (system) simplicity.

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