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Community / Liaison group pleased with SSE’s change in Covid-19 approach

WIND farm developer Viking Energy has finally started taking the threat Covid-19 is posing to its workforce and the Shetland population very seriously, according to the chairman of the Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council.

Andrew Archer said the community council had been “banging on” at SSE Renewables – the company that owns and is developing the wind farm – since last summer to introduce testing.

A recent photo of the Viking wind farm construction site. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

Following a virtual meeting of the Viking community liaison group on Tuesday evening Archer said he was pleased the company had changed its approach to the pandemic.

“Last year I came out of our meetings with the feeling that they weren’t taking it [Covid-19] seriously. That’s certainly not the case now,” he said.

Archer added: “They went through all the measures that people have to go through to prevent people infecting one another and it’s a big list.

“Whether they are effective obviously depends on people doing what they have been told to do, but the lengths that they are going to in order to minimise the risks to people are reassuring.”

Earlier this month, the companies involved in the wind farm and associated projects announced that all travelling workers were to be tested for Covid-19 before travelling to Shetland.

The liaison group is the forum where representatives from the community councils directly affected by the development as well as the councillors of the area get first hand updates from SSE and its contractors and can raise concern and questions put forward by the community.

It meets with the help of MS Teams every three months and is currently not open to the public.

Archer said councillors were told that expectations were for the new Sandwater road to be ready for construction traffic at the end of February.

The full minutes of the meeting will be available in about two weeks time.