Some 70% of islanders who participated in a survey by Lewis Wind Power are supportive
of having wind farms on the islands, said the company.
The findings are significant evidence as it appears to present a different picture
to the widespread public condemnation of turbine developments which is a key driver
behind the UK Government’s decision to end subsidies for land-based windfarms.
Excluding island schemes from receiving pubic financial assistance to offset the
high charges for exporting the electricity will destroy plans to build both large
scale and community venture wind developments with the knock-on effect of stopping
the subsea cable project in its tracks.
Lewis Wind Power, which commissioned the survey, is a 50-50 joint venture between
EDF Energy Renewables and AMEC Foster Wheeler, which plans to erect 36 turbines on
the outskirts of Stornoway.
The firm also bought the Uisenis wind farm project in Eiskhen, Lewis, which has planning
permission for 45 turbines which would be the biggest renewable energy development
on the Western Isles.
It asked ICM to carry out a survey of 1,000 adults on Lewis earlier this month.
In addition to the favourable backing for building turbine developments locally,
the poll indicated 81% of respondents backed wind as a method of energy production.
Matthieu Hue, chief executive of EDF Energy Renewables, said: “Island wind projects
would provide substantial benefits for remote communities in Scotland and offer good
value for consumers – especially due to the abundant wind conditions of the Western
“The benefits come in direct payments from the wind farm and opportunities for communities
to invest in the projects.
“The effect of large scale of the investment would provide tremendous boost to the
local economy and industry.”
He added: “In contrast offshore wind projects are not able to deliver these kind
of community benefits.”
Strong local backing for Western Isles wind farms maintain developers
26 January 2017
Recent polling in the Western Isles showed that 81% of islanders were favourable
towards wind as a method of energy production