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Energy / Viking consults on plans for public access

VIKING Energy appears set to press on with plans for its 103 turbine wind farm in central Shetland with the company holding a consultation in Mareel yesterday (20 November) on its plans for public access.

It appears though that Viking, now largely owned by energy giants SSE after the Shetland Charitable Trust relinquished its stake in the wind farm, is forging ahead with plans despite failing to win government subsidy, and hopes to announce a principal contractor at some time in the “near future.”

It was announced at the end of May that the charitable trust had decided to stop investing further into Viking Energy, thus giving SSE near complete control of the project.

Prior to news that Viking Energy had failed to win a Contract for Difference in the Westminster Government auction, the announcement of the principal contractor had been expected this month.

The wind farm’s progression is also contingent on energy regulator Ofgem approving a revised case for an interconnector cable, to be installed by Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks that it previously rejected after Viking’s CfD bid was knocked back.

Viking is required as part of its wind farm planning permission to consult with the public on an access management plan, which will be a “live” document and subject to revision as work progresses.

Company representatives up from the mainland declined to be quoted but Viking Energy will be publishing information on the access management plan on its website in the next few days.

Shetland News understands that the public right to roam will be respected by the contractors during construction, though areas where actual work is ongoing will be like any other construction site with the public kept out for health and safety reasons.

When Shetland News attended around 5pm, there had been around 20 visitors to the event, though numbers are understood to have picked up during the evening.

On show were a number of photographs of gates and notices at operational wind farms on the mainland where the public have access for walking, mountain biking and other pursuits.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021