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
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.
Lewis Wind Power
9 Harbour View
Cromwell Street Quay
Letter: Large Stornoway windfarm critical to subsea cable