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First converter station approved

A PLANNING decision on a massive converter station necessary to export electricity from the proposed Viking Energy windfarm via 200 miles subsea cable to the Scottish mainland will not be made before June, it emerged last night (Thursday).

On Wednesday the converter station at the other end of the cable at Blackhillock, near Keith, was approved by councillors in Moray.

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Yesterday, the chairman of Shetland Islands Council’s planning board, Frank Robertson, said officials were still waiting for additional information from applicant Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Limited (SHETL).

He said the board had to consider a planning application for the site at Upper Kergord, but also a works licence application for the cable coming ashore in Weisdale Voe.

Mr Robertson said the applications would be considered at the planning board meeting on 2 June at the earliest.

A number of organisations and individuals have objected to the converter station to be built in the valley.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Viking Energy welcomed Moray Council’s decision as a “positive move” and added that the Blackhillock converter station was part of the overall infrastructure for the proposed 540 megawatt wind farm project.

The chairman of Moray Council’ planning committee Stewart Cree is reported as saying that the construction of the converter station would bring welcome economic benefit to the town of Keith.

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