Falklands’ farms helped with wool prices rapidly moving to wind energy
Electricity generated from wind is spreading across the Falkland Islands with two large farms Goose Green and Fitzroy preparing to be the next to have turbines, inverters and batteries installed.
The change to wind energy has also been helped by the excellent prices of wool in the last few seasons.
The Falklands’ Executive Council last week noted that £300,000 was to be allocated from Falkland Landholding’s profits from the previous year for the purchase of the equipment for the two East Falkland farms.
In October 2011 a system costing £110,000 was approved for the third FLH farm, North Arm, which is soon to be installed. FLH General Manager Owen Summers explained that the masts for the turbines had been constructed at North Arm and with the recent arrival of the inverters and batteries it was hoped the system would soon be up and running.
The approved funding for Goose Green and Fitzroy was provisional and the equipment ordered would be dependant on how the system at North Arm performed, he said.
FLH made profits of £97,000 in 2009/10, £660,000 in 2010/11 and is on track to make a profit of not less than £500,000 in the current financial year. Mr Summers said the profits of the last two financial years were excellent, but they should not be taken out of context as wool sales over the last two years have not only benefited from higher market prices but also currency, with the Falklands wool industry receiving excellent prices through the combination of the two.
However, he warned that three years ago FLH had received approximately £550K less for the same amount of wool.
FLH both as a limited company and as a statutory corporation recorded losses on its accounts from the late 1990s until 2009/10 when the first profit in over ten years was recorded.
At the FLH Board meeting of April 26, 2012 the Acting Financial Secretary Nicola Granger noted that a reserve policy had never previously been set for FLH and because it had made a significant profit in 2010/11 and was on track for a similar profit this financial year, the Board should consider an appropriate reserve level.
Given the past subsidies from the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) and the profits now being made, consideration needed to be given to whether any funds should be returned to FIG, said Mrs Granger. (Penguin News)