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Hebrides News


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 Scottish islands.


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.”


Wind farm developer welcomes turbine subsidy plans

14 February 2018