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Energy / Final plans in for 160MW Yell wind farm

Norwegian company Statkraft now plans to develop a 18 turbine wind farm in Yell. Photo: Energy Isles

FINAL plans for the proposed Energy Isles wind farm in Yell have been submitted to the Scottish Government.

The developer behind the plans has now sent supplementary environmental information to the government’s Energy Consents Unit.

The final proposals are for 23 turbines, with an installed capacity of 160MW.

Fourteen of the turbines will have a tip height of 200m and nine will have a tip height of 180m.

These are larger than the Viking Energy turbines, which have a tip height of 155m.

The number of turbines is however a vast reduction on the 63 initially proposed.

From left to right: Derek Jamieson, director, Energy Isles Limited, Guy Nicholson, Europe Grid Manager, Statkraft, Richard Mardon, Head of Onshore Wind, Statkraft UK, David Flood, Managing Director, Statkraft UK, Olav Hetland, Senior Vice President, Statkraft, Charlotte Healey, Project Manager, Energy Isles Shetland Limited.

Energy Isles initially formed as a consortium of businesses in 2012 before Norwegian giant Statkraft became the development partner last year.

The project is estimated to generate electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of 190,000 homes.

Statkraft thinks the location “might have the highest wind speeds of any wind farm site in the UK”.

A community benefit fund for the project would deliver £800,000 per year to the North Isles, a total of £24 million over the 30-year life of the wind farm.

It is also expected to pay out £2.2 million a year in non-domestic rates.

The development and construction phase is expected to bring a total of £20.3 million of investment to Shetland, the company said.

Using a Scottish Government calculator the developer believes the carbon payback time on the development would be around two years.

Statkraft project manager Charlotte Healey said: “Working with the initial consortium who conceived and developed this project has been nothing short of inspirational.

“The support and information we have had from the community has been incredible and they truly see the potential for this project to help Shetland develop a hub for renewable energy.”

Derek Jamieson from Energy Isles Limited said: “It’s been a long hard road to get to this point where the final plans for the Energy Isles wind farm can be submitted.

“The work by local folk to develop an initial idea from way back in 2012 to today shows the enthusiasm to bring renewable energy to Yell.

“Throughout this process the project has received strong support from local folk, but we’ve also worked very hard as a team to, where possible, address matters raised by consultees and the wider public so that our final submission reflects a project we hope the communities of the North Isles can be truly proud of.”

The proposed wind farm would require access to the 600MW interconnector between Shetland and the Scottish mainland, which is set to be built in the coming years following Viking Energy getting the go-ahead.