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Plans to create new road for Viking works

THE TEAM behind the Viking Energy 103 turbine wind farm has relaunched plans to build a new road near to the Halfway House to allow access for construction traffic.

It would see a new two-lane road being constructed over a 2.26km stretch from the Sandwater junction at the A970 through to a track to Upper Kergord.

Construction vehicles would exclusively use the new road, which would run largely parallel to the existing B9075, until construction of the planned wind farm has been completed.

After that, it would be opened up to the public, with around 1.2km of the current single-track road due to then be removed and the rest retained to allow access to Sandwater Loch.

Viking Energy has planning permission for a 103 turbine, 457 MW wind farm in the central mainland of Shetland. The company hopes to bid for subsidies in the next Contract for difference (CfD) auction, in May next year.

But opponents to the wind farm said that Viking Energy would find it difficult to compete with the current strike price of £57.50 MWh for offshore wind projects, which was set at the previous CfD round (see letter from Sustainable Shetland).

The applicant, which would cover the costs of the new road, is requesting a screening opinion from local planners as to whether the proposal would need an environmental impact assessment.

It says the construction period would be likely to take place over a six to nine month period following the granting of consents, and that “liaison with landowners and local residents would be carried out prior to, and during construction, to ensure there is minimum disruption to them”.

It follows another planning application submitted by Viking recently for a two kilometre access track from the B9075 road to Upper Kergord, where a transmission substation would be located.

A timeline on Viking Energy’s website says major wind farm construction works could begin in 2019, with the wind farm potentially connecting to the National Grid in 2023/24.

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