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SSE push for Viking subsidies

| Written by Shetland News

ENERGY giant SSE has reportedly made a last-ditch attempt to convince the UK government to include its Shetland wind farm project in the Contract for Difference (CfD) programme, which is designed to support offshore wind projects.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Friday that in a letter to business secretary Greg Clarke, the energy giant - as well as smaller developers such as Peel Energy - called on the government to allow island wind projects to bid for a slice of the subsidies.

In November, the government unexpectedly announced another round of consultation into whether non-mainland wind projects should receive subsidies.

The move scuppered Viking Energy and Peel Energy's intention to bid in the next round of CfD auction, worth £290 million and expected to be held in April this year.

Scottish & Southern Energy is a 50 per cent shareholder in the 103-turbine Viking Energy project. The majority of the remaining shares are held by Shetland Charitable Trust.

According to the national newspaper the letter to the business secretary said: "These sites are home to some of the best conditions in the world with high wind speeds and productivity. The resources on the islands are under-used and this is our opportunity to tap into them and bring jobs, low-carbon energy and a sustainable supply chain to remote parts of the UK."

The Conservative government has removed all subsidies from onshore wind projects, but SSE and others argue that projects on the Scottish islands have more in common with offshore developments.

The government's consultation runs until the end of the month.

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