The company behind plans to build two large windfarms on the Lewis moor has welcomed
the green light being given for a special subsidy to develop turbine schemes in the
In a bid to encourage more marine renewables, the UK government policy banned any
kind of financial support for onshore turbines.
None of the three large wind schemes planned for Lewis nor proposed clusters of community
turbines will be built without financial support to compensate for the high export
costs - up to seven times higher than from the Highlands - to send island generated
electricity to southern markets.
In turn, plans for a proposed subsea cable across the Minch would be scrapped.
Under political pressure the government conceded making making an one-off exception
for the Scottish islands.
Now the EC has determined the subsidy proposal willnot fall foul of rules restricting
public funding support.
Will Collins, project manager from Lewis Wind Power, which is developing the Stornoway
and Uisenis wind farms, said: “This is another important milestone for remote island
wind and the UK Government is now able to proceed to allow projects on Lewis and
other remote islands to compete in next year’s auction for long-term contracts for
low carbon power.
“Those contracts are essential to underpin the hundreds of millions of pounds of
investment required to build the Uisenis and Stornoway wind farms, and also to ensure
the projects are able to meet their share of the costs of the new interconnector
to the mainland.”
He added: “Uisenis, Stornoway and Tolsta Wind Farm all meet the criteria to bid in
the 2019 auction round.
“Over the next year we will be continuing our work to get our two projects ready
to for what we expect to be a very tough competition.”