G R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher Offer
Thursday 25 July 2024
 13.8°C   S Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / Viking Energy approval heralds new era

An updated lay-out of the proposed Viking Energy wind farm - Image: Viking Energy

THE SCOTTISH government’s decision on Wednesday to approve the Viking Energy wind farm in Shetland heralds a new era of development for the islands, transforming the local environment and economy.

The government has approved a scaled down 370 megawatt wind farm that will include 103 turbines, after 24 were removed following objections from the operators of the oil airport at Scatsta.

The approval will trigger the building of a £500 million interconnector cable that will plug Shetland into the national electricity grid for the first time, opening the door for further renewable developments in the isles.

The government claims the wind farm will bring £30 million a year into the islands, however campaigners argue it will blight the landscape with oversized turbines and pose more of a threat than an opportunity.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing granted consent for Scotland’s third largest wind farm at 10am on Wednesday, saying it will generate enough power for more than 175,000 homes, 16 times the number of households in Shetland.

The £566 million joint venture between Scottish & Southern Energy and Shetland Charitable Trust will be the largest community owned wind farm in Europe, employing 140 people over the five year construction phase.

The publicly-owned charitable trust estimates the wind farm will provide an annual income of £20 million to support community projects, and 34 permanent jobs.

Scottish ministers have said they expect local people to be given priority when it comes to employment and awarding contracts.

The original application in 2009 was for 150 turbines, but this was scaled down to 127 following objections from most of the statutory consultees.

Approval for the 103 turbines means that northern Delting will be free of turbines to protect oil flights in and out of Scatsta airport.

Mr Ewing said: “The development will create jobs and bring income, and makes the case for an interconnector to connect Shetland for the first time to the National Grid –  paving the way for more exports and further renewable energy opportunities for the islands, including community projects and marine energy developments.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“The development includes an extensive habitat management plan covering around 12,800 acres, which will restore peatland and offer benefits to a whole range of species and habitats.”

He said Viking would help Scotland meet its target of generating all of Scotland’s power from renewables by 2020, including 500MW generated from community and locally owned projects.

Related stories from today:

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 
Categories

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.