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Wind farm supporters issue plea to work together

THE Windfarm Supporters Group has issued a plea for islanders to work together and learn to live with commercial renewable energy developments in the islands. 

In an open letter the supporters say it is important everyone works together to ensure Shetland gets the best possible deal from Viking Energy with the fewest problems during the planning, construction and operation of the wind farm.

Spokesman Chris Bunyan said that some council election candidates appear to be misleading electors by suggesting they could change the wind farm, for example by making it much smaller.  

“The Scottish Government has approved a wind farm of a maximum 457MW with up to 103 turbines and that decision isn’t going to change. Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the reality facing us today,” he wrote in the group’s letter.

Mr Bunyan continued saying that the supporters group did not understand what opponents were trying to achieve.  

Suggestions that the council might renege on the leases with Viking Energy to put turbines on the council-owned Busta Estate would only result in huge compensation claims that would “make the Bressay Brig fiasco look like pocket-money”, he said.

The supporters group added that if the charitable trust pulled out from Viking Energy then that would not stop the wind farm going ahead, “but without any direct Shetland control or influence over the development and with virtually all the profits going south.”

Once detailed planning for the wind farm started, Mr Bunyan said, there would be hundreds of different proposals needing scrutiny and “there could be many opportunities to influence the development and possibly overcome some of the worries people have expressed.”

The full letter can be found here.