RENEWABLE energy developer Viking Energy has applied to have the upper limit of 457 Megawatts (WW) for its consented 103-turbine wind farm removed and replaced with the looser term of “greater than 50 MW”.
If approved by the Energy Consent Unit, it will allow the company to potentially use larger turbines than anticipated when planning consent was first granted in April 2012.
Changing this element of the consent is included in Viking Energy’s application to increase the size of the individual turbines to a maximum of 155 metres, which was submitted to the Energy Consent Unit in November.
The proposed change in the “maximum generating capacity” was spotted during a meeting of the Lerwick Community Council last week, leaving members initially thinking it was a spelling mistake.
However, since the planned wind farm will be built on land outside Lerwick, the community council decided just to note the application without commenting.
Responding to a request for clarification by Shetland News, Viking Energy said the company was following advice from Scottish ministers.
“The relevant legislation does not require the maximum generation capacity to be stated or limited in the consent for a wind farm,” a statement issued at the weekend said.
“The likely generation capacity of the wind farm stated in the EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] report is based on currently available ‘candidate’ turbines and this is used in the report for, amongst other things, calculating the carbon balance of the project.
“If Viking gains consent for a higher tip height there are a number of current turbine models which would fit and these are in the range of 4.2MW to 4.5MW.”
The full 57-page application document can be found here.