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Letters / Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Where do you think the £72 million over the 30 years life of the Viking Energy wind factory into the so-called ‘Community Benefit Fund’ comes from?

SSE confident Viking wind farm will turn for 30 years

Does it come from the SSE shareholders taking less profits to salt away in tax havens?

No. It comes from increased charges we all have to pay for our electricity.

Who is worst hit by SSE robbing Peter to pay Paul? Shetlanders in fuel poverty that’s who.

The SSE/Viking Energy wind farm was rejected by the Shetland public in all SIC consultations. It was rejected two to one in submissions to the energy regulator and the SNP energy minister.

Now we are being offered £72 million from our own pockets to see our unique landscape ripped apart and permanently defaced. £72 million from our own pockets to see hill lochs containing genetically isolated trout polluted.

I could go on with a long list of pollution and destruction of our active peat bogs and native fauna and flora by SSE/Viking Energy for our own £72 million but does anybody care?

Well, certainly not our council leaders, MP and a whole host of so called ‘green’ MSPs, most of whom have never been to Shetland.

Not only do they want to see the future complete industrialisation of the Shetland landscape by the proposed Orion project, but the removal of our best fishing grounds by giant wind factories as well.

Those very same local politicians are now whining about fuel poverty and saying we should have a unique ‘Shetland Tariff’ for the vast industrialised area Shetland is becoming.

If there is to be a ‘Shetland Tariff ‘then there will be demands for an ‘Orkney Tariff’, a ‘Western Isles Tariff’, a ‘Highlands Tariff’, a ‘Borders Tariff’, and so on. Not a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting that granted unless the whole electricity industry is re-nationalised.

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Even if by some miracle Ofgem/government/SSE agreed to set a unique tariff for Shetland it would never be set low enough to get most of us out of fuel poverty, simply because electricity for heating can never be produced cheap enough for energy providers to make a profit.

The Shetland Community Benefit Fund is a con trick devised at the planning stage in an attempt to placate opposition to the SSE/Viking Energy’s plans to industrialise the Shetland landscape.

No mention then by SSE of the vast grid supply complex (of Kergord interconnector size) now to be built in Gremista next to COPE with a line of pylons connecting it to Kergord.

Instead of spending the gifted (sic) SSE £72 million on vanity projects this money should be returned to those in fuel poverty from whose pockets it is being filched.

Allen Fraser

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