More than a century after Scots engineer James Blyth invented the world’s first domestic wind turbine EDF Renewables UK is to open its Lammermuir Hills for visitors as part of Scottish Borders Council’s Doors Open Days.
More than 130 years after Scots engineer James Blyth invented the world’s first domestic electricity generating wind turbine, only to be told by his neighbours that it was the “Devil’s work”, technology has come a long way.
Wind turbines now adorn hills across Scotland and the waters around it. These blade swirling giants create almost enough sustainable energy to meet the country’s entire energy consumption.
It’s a far cry from the dark skies of Victorian Kincardineshire of 1887. In July of that year James Blyth, the son of an inn keeper who grew up to become one of Scotland’s greatest engineers and academics, built a cloth-sailed wind turbine in the garden of his cottage in Marykirk.
The power it generated was enough for him to install electric light in his home, making it the first house in the world to be powered by wind-generated electricity. Indeed, the turbine generated so much power there was enough left over for Blyth to offer the people of Marykirk a chance to be the first town to electrically light its main street. Unfortunately his offer was turned down on the grounds that electricity was believed to be "the work of The Devil”.
Blyth patented his invention in 1891 but although he was lauded for his work producing electrical energy from wind his invention was not considered economically viable. It was another 60 years before the UK’s first public utility wind turbine was built in Orkney in 1951.
Today wind turbines are a common a sight even though few ordinary people get to see them up close. Now, as part of Doors Open Day 2022, Scottish Borders residents can sign up for a free, exclusive visit to Fallago Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills.
Operated by EDF Renewables UK, the wind farm will be open for visitors as part of Scottish Borders Council’s Doors Open Days over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of September.
Over the course of the weekend there will be three rare visits to the wind farm for the public to see how the 48 turbines turn the wind on the Lammermuirs into electricity used to power homes and businesses across the country.
As well as having the chance to go inside a turbine and see the Fallago Rig control room, visitors will meet the onsite EDF Renewables UK technical team.
Transport to the site will be provided for all three trips, with buses leaving from Lauder, Westruther and Duns across the weekend. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided at the wind farm.
Places for the visits are limited and must be booked in advance online via these links:
Saturday 3 Sept 2022 - 09:30: Tour 1 Fallago Rig wind farm Route: Lauder via Westruther
Saturday 3 Sept 2022 - 13:30: Tour 2 Fallago Rig wind farm Route: Lauder via Westruther
Sunday 4 Sept 2022 - 09:45: Tour 3 Fallago Rig wind farm Route: Duns pick up.