Number of turbines
Year of commissioning
2000 (phase 1), 2003 (phase 2)


Burradale opened in 2000, and has since become the most productive windfarm in the world per unit of installed capacity.

The site is located just a few miles outside of Lerwick. In 2000, three Vestas V47 660kW turbines were installed with 47 metre rotors. They were commissioned on 17th December 2000. In the decades since then, the turbines have had an average capacity factor of 50%, and in 2005 averaged an amazing world record, 57.9%. The first three turbines constructed were all given women’s names – Mina was named after the mother of two of the company’s founders. Betsy was named after the mother of another company founder, and Brenda was named by a then pupil of Tingwall Primary School, the nearest primary school, who named it after her teacher - Mrs Brenda Scollay.

The single biggest individual investor in the project was Shetland Islands Council Charitable Trust, who held redeemable preference shares in the company. This allowed the ownership to remain in Shetland. All borrowing and the redeemable investment were cleared in 2009, three years ahead of projection.

By early 2003, the Burradale project entered its second phase, with two new Vestas V52 850kW turbines added. The theme of female names continued. The fourth turbine was named Sally after the baby daughter of the person who previously owned the hill. The fifth turbine, Karen, was named by a then pupil of the Scalloway primary school who didn’t want to name it after anyone else so gave it her own name.

Burradale's official opening was held on Sat 29th March 2003 and attended by UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson and Norwegian Energy Minister Einar Steensnæs. At an impromptu meeting in the office later that afternoon, the question is posed “what next?” The concept of a larger project with community ownership keeping benefits in Shetland is born.


Burradale Wind Farm has been operating sucessfully for more than 20 years. Our relationship with manufacturer Vestas has continued uninterrupted since commissioning but local and specialist engineering firms have supported our company throughout.

Occasionally, major components have been renewed, either by refurbishment or by replacement.

The high productivity of Burradale is due to Shetland’s unique wind resource and the dedication of our company to maintain our assests in the best possible condition. Energy from Burradale flows to Lerwick Power Station where it then contributes to meeting Shetland’s energy demand. The completed wind farm has a total output of 3.68MW saving[1] 6,869tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions, and powering up to 4,976[2] local homes.

[1] Based on DESNZ “all non-renewable fuels” emissions statistic of 424 t/GWh (Renewables UK)

[2] Based on 50% capacity factor and 3.239MWh/yr for average UK home (Renewables UK)