Supplying the electrical distribution network in Scotland with power from wind energy, the Ben Aketil wind farm site lies approximately 18 km west of the town of Portree on the Isle of Skye.
The site covers a hilly region of generally open moorland to the northwestern end of the island with site elevations ranging from 90 m to 266 m along a gently sloping northwest to southeast ridge. The surrounding area consists of similar terrain rising to 490 m peaks 10 km due west and 15 km due east. The Cuillins with several peaks over 950 m are located 28 km to the southeast.
The site is mainly used for grazing however there is a large coniferous plantation along the northeast ridge.
The wind farm is owned by Ben Aketil Wind Energy Limited (BAWEL), part of the Falck Renewables Group. In March 2014, CII Holdco Ltd, part of Copenhagen Infrastructure I K/S, acquired 49% of BAWEL from Falck Renewables.
The windfarm consists of 12 turbines, each rated at 2.3 MW giving a total installed capacity of 27.6 MW. The windfarm was built in two phases consisting of the first 10 turbines and then 2 similar extension turbines were added at a later date. The turbines are manufactured by Enercon GmbH, model E-70 E4 2.3 MW, which is a variable pitch and variable speed machine which directly drives an electric generator (ie has no gearbox). The rotor diameter is 71 m and the height of the tower is 64 m.
The turbines are serviced, maintained and repaired under long term contracts with Enercon. Each turbine is monitored 24 hours a day seven days a week and any maintenance is carried out by specially trained and qualified technicians. The availability of the project is warranted by Enercon and the safe, efficient, reliable and clean generation of electricity is a fundamental requirement under our long term contract with Enercon.
The wind farm is connected to the local 33 kV power network and the National Grid by a 5 km overhead powerline.
An ongoing program of ornithological monitoring has been agreed in compliance with planning consent including statutory consultee Scottish Natural Heritage.