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Energy / Local consortium lodges planning application for Yell wind farm

The area in the north of Yell earmarked for the Energy Isles development. Image taken from the Energy Isles environmental impact assessment report.

THE CONSORTIUM behind plans for a 29-turbine wind farm in Yell has submitted a planning application for the development to Scottish Ministers.

The Energy Isles wind farm proposal, which would need a connection to a subsea cable to allow it to export to the national grid, would be located on blanket bog to the west of Cullivoe.

As the overall capacity of the proposed development is in the region of 145 to 200 MW (megawatts), the plans have to go through the Scottish Government’s energy consents unit. Shetland Islands Council becomes a statutory consultee.

Energy Isles director Derek Jamieson said: “We’ve undertaken a great deal of work over the past fifteen months to make sure we put forward a design that will be both efficient and environmentally acceptable. We believe we have succeeded in our ambition to do this.

“Through conversations with local folk at our public exhibitions in the North Isles last summer and again at the beginning of this year, plus regular meetings with the community liaison group, we received helpful feedback that played an important part in shaping the final application.”

A total of 63 smaller turbines were originally mooted for the wind farm, but they have been scaled down to 29 through the scoping stage. At a minimum of 5MW each, individual turbines will have to be significant larger than what is proposed for the Viking Energy wind farm.

The Energy Isles consortium includes over 50 mainly Shetland-based businesses, from engineering and marine companies to shops and a pub. (A full list of members can be found here: https://www.energyisles.co.uk/who)

“Over the coming decades onshore wind power has a crucial role to play in helping to meet our climate change targets,” Jamieson added.

“The Energy Isles wind farm will play a key part in supporting this.

“Everybody involved in Energy Isles shares the belief that Shetland must maximise the benefits of its emerging renewables industry for the good of the local economy and community, and it appears that local folk are in agreement with us on this – at our exhibitions in February, we invited attendees to complete a feedback form which revealed that 80 per cent of respondents were supportive of our plans, 9 per cent neutral and 11 per cent opposed.”

Three further wind farm developments that depend on the 600MW subsea cable being built already have planning consent: Viking Energy (453MW), Beaw Field (58MW) and Mossy Hill (50MW).