Contact newsdesk on:

Classified adverts   I   Jobs                               

Small Ads & Local Services  


Hebrides News


No more community turbines will be built on Lewis unless it is on the back of large corporate winds farms warns Lewis Wind Power (LWP).


With the local grid at maximum capacity, privately owned companies are required to invest in building big wind schemes on Lewis to provide the critical mass to allow the interconector to be constructed, says LWP.


Four Lewis grazings committees are challenging the company over the right to develop renewable energy schemes on their own common grazings outside Stornoway.


The next stage of the dispute will be decided by the Scottish Land Court in what is the first case of its kind.


Crofters will receive “fair” compensation for hosting LWP turbines on their pasture land, west of Stornoway.


LWP is a joint venture between EDF Energy Renewables and AMEC Foster Wheeler which intends to build 36 turbines on the moorland by Marybank.


Sandwick North, Sandwick East Street, Melbost, and Aiginish grazings committees say they hold a legal right to build turbines on part of the land, pointing out community-owned renewable developments reinvest vastly more profit per turbine locally.


Landowner, the Stornoway Trust, would receive equal rent for the community turbines as from the corporate giant.


Unlike corporate wind farms, all the profit from their developments will go back into the community and benefit the whole of the Western Isles, highlight the villlages.


A Lewis Wind Power (LWP) spokesperson said: ““Electricity generation projects cannot go ahead on the Isle of Lewis until there is significant investment in the electricity network on the island which is running at full capacity.


Any investment can only be triggered by a ‘critical mass’ of new generation, specifically remote island wind, which has secured support, she added.


The UK government has confirmed its intention to financially support island wind schemes.


EDF expects this to be done through a ‘Contract for Difference (a “CFD”).


Only projects that have planning consent, a grid connection and meet other criteria for remotes island wind projects “are likely to be eligible to bid” for the subsidy, said EDF.


The two Lewis Wind Power projects, the Stornoway wind farm and the Uisenis wind farm have both planning permission and grid connection agreements and “have the best potential to contribute” towards this critical mass.


Once this network investment has been made, there will be spare capacity for other new projects, including new community projects, added the company.


There is “considerable local support” for these projects, with a poll showing seven in ten people are supportive of wind farms on the islands.”

The LWP projects offer community benefits of £6-9 million a year (including income from the community taking stakes in the projects) and in a commissioned report for EDF Energy Renewables, consultants BVG Associates found there would be a total of £400 million accrued in benefits to the Western Isles over the course of the wind farm life.


The BVG report indicated over 600 people would be employed at the peak of construction work for of the wind farms and the grid connection.


The spokesperson said the bid to the Scottish Land Court is a S19a application which is a “normal part of due process” for wind farm developments on crofted land.


She added: “The Land Court will make sure the crofters on the Stornoway wind farm land get a fair deal in respect of the income they will receive in return for having wind farm infrastructure on their land.


“Our proposal to the Land Court has been negotiated and agreed between advisors who represented the majority of the crofters on the wind farm site.”


Full details of the LWP application, and details of how it can be responded to, is available on the LWP website, she added.


The spokesperson continued: “Figures from an ICM poll carried out independently for EDF Energy Renewables between 3 and 8 January of 1,000 adults on the Isle of Lewis.”


Crofters’ turbines “need” corporate windfarms for subsea cable

19 August 2017