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Hebrides News


Formal responses have been submitted to a consultation on a special island exception after it abolished all public support for lall and-based turbines.  


None of the three large wind schemes planned for Lewis nor clusters of community owned turbines will proceed without the financial support to offset high transmission charges to export electricity to mainland markets.


Neither would a subsea cable be built across the Minch, halting plans for more community wind schemes to hook into the interconnector.


In all, investment plus local community benefit adding up to £709 million is at risk, according to a study by developer, EDF.


Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, highlighted the “great concern” about losing community benefit in the “economically fragile” islands.


She added: “The economies of the Northern and Western Isles desperately need this intervention.


"All have extremely high rates of fuel poverty and generating low cost electricity could help tackle this, but they cannot do this without access to the grid.”


MP Angus MacNeil said he was “”encouraged” after a recent meeting with the Energy minister.


He stressed: “There is a strong view from the island energy sector that support from the UK Government is crucial as the way forward.


The islands have the best wind resource in Europe and supporting non-mainland onshore wind offers the “best value for money option” for the UK Governmen, he added.


Alasdair Allan MSP said: “The result of this consultation will be critical to the future of renewable development on the islands.


“There are hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment from shovel-ready projects across the Western Isles that simply need the necessary infrastructure in place before they can be unlocked.


“The UK Government must now listen to reason and allow the island renewable sector the support it deserves.”


UK Government urged to reinstate subsidies for Western Isles windfarms

1 February 2017

Island politicians are urging the UK Government to provide subsidies for Western Isles wind farms.