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I am writing to correct a number of misrepresentations in Willie Macfarlane's open letter to the Stornoway Trust election candidates.


As Willie knows, Stornoway Wind Farm is being developed by Lewis Wind Power, a 50:50 joint venture between EDF Group’s UK renewables business and Wood, which is based in Aberdeen - not by EDF alone.


Anything which threatens the scale and competitiveness of Stornoway Wind Farm absolutely threatens delivery of the interconnector for two reasons.


First, projects on Lewis can only go ahead if they win a long-term contract for power through a competitive auction process, competing against technologies such as offshore wind which is built on a much greater scale.


Downsizing our scheme can only make it less competitive and therefore less likely to prevail in an auction.


Second, Stornoway Wind Farm makes up 180MW of the capacity needed to trigger the new cable, is ready to bid in next year's auction and meets all of the criteria required to do so.


It is very unlikely that four new community schemes would be able to secure the requisite planning consent in advance of the next auction, or be competitive on price without the scale of the Stornoway Wind Farm.


This would potentially undermine the volume of Western Isles projects required to justify the new cable.


So reducing the capacity of our project would indeed present a significant risk to the needs case required by the energy regulator Ofgem to sign off investment in the interconnector.


Willie also massively downplays the economic benefits of Stornoway Wind Farm, with the community standing to benefit directly in four different ways:

• Community benefit payment

• Rental payment to our landlord the Stornoway Trust

• Compensation payments to crofters

• Profit-share through the significant ownership stake that will be offered.


Those benefits, along with the delivery of the interconnector and the jobs the scheme would support, could have a transformational impact on the economy of Lewis, which is why so many people are supportive of the project.


Will Collins

Project Manager

Lewis Wind Power

9 Harbour View

Cromwell Street Quay



Letter: Large Stornoway windfarm critical to subsea cable

23 March 2018