A proposal to buy around 20 turbines from large corporate windfarms on Lewis is being
The comhairle and Stornoway Trust are looking at ways of taking up offers to purchase
stakes in two private developments.
Up to 20% of the Stornoway windfarm project is available to the trust while a maximum
30% share in the Uisenis windfarm at Eishken in South Lochs has been negotiated by
the local authority.
Both proposed renewable energy developments are owned by Lewis Wind Power (LWP).
LWP - a joint venture between Amec Foster Wheeler and EDF Energy Renewables - already
has planning permission to build 36 turbines outside Stornoway.
Consent has also been secured to install 45 generators on the Eishken estate.
LWP says the joint capacity of up to 342MW is a crucial part of building the case
for a subsea cable to the mainland - essential to make sure electricity can be exported
from the island into the wider UK electricity grid.
Roddie Mackay, leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said the purchase opportunity
offers “unprecedented community potential.”
Mr Mackay said: “These are substantial ownership stakes, which have the potential,
depending on the final configuration of the projects, of putting close around 75MW
of clean, green, electricity generation into community ownership.”
He stressed: “Working with a major developer removes all pre-implementation risk
from the community.
“Given that planning consents and grid connection contracts are already in place
it offers the most effective, low-cost, low-risk way for communities to get involved
in renewable energy generation.”
The council leader highlighted: “We now need to build on that potential and so I
am pleased to announce that the comhairle and the Stornoway Trust have agreed to
explore the establishment of a joint venture vehicle to bring the two ownership stakes
together to allow us to achieve economies and to ensure that the potential for ownership
within our community is maximised.”
He added: “I think this partnership between the trust and the comhairle, as the two
largest democratic bodies in the Outer Hebrides, represents a significant step forward.
“Over the next period we will be working together to build the most efficient model
in order to deliver benefits to all communities across the Outer Hebrides.
“As we develop the model there will be opportunities for communities across the Outer
Hebrides to join with the comhairle and the trust to participate in this opportunity
and we will have more to say on that in due course.”
Comhairle and Stornoway Trust explore windfarm ownership