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Energy / Council to enter Scatsta land lease talks with energy companies

Photo: SIC

SHETLAND Islands Council says it will soon be entering into negotiations with Norwegian giant Statkraft and partners to agree a lease for the land around the disused Scatsta Airport for future energy production.

It comes after a private council meeting on Tuesday.

Earlier this month local energy consultancy and project development company Voar told Shetland News that the isles were at a crucial moment in their history, and if decision makers were not careful all the profit from the new industries would disappear through the “sooth mooth”.

Statkraft is behind plans for the Energy Isles and Beaw Field wind farms in Yell, as well as the Mossy Hill wind development on the outskirts of Lerwick.

It previously confirmed to Shetland News that it is interested in the idea of building a ‘greener grid park’ at Scatsta.

It is already proposing greener grid park in Lerwick, which would provide back-up battery storage to keep power flowing in Shetland if the planned subsea transmission link connecting the isles to the national grid has an outage.

Shetland Islands Council said will continue discussions with Statkraft, Aker Horizons Asset Development and Mainstream Renewable Power to develop the site for future energy production.

Mainstream Renewable Power, which is majority-owned by Aker Horizons, has proposed an offshore wind development to the east of Shetland.

Matt Kelly, Statkraft’s vice president of UK Hydrogen, said: ‘I’m delighted with the outcome of this process, which will see Statkraft and partners utilise our combined experience to harness the renewable potential of Shetland.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Shetland Islands Council, and solidifying Statkraft’s commitment to the islands, pushing forward the UK’s energy transition.”

A spokesperson for the company added: “‘Statkraft are delighted to be working with Shetland Islands Council, and industry partners, to explore potential uses for the land around Scatsta Airport.

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“Plans are at a very early stage at the moment, and we look forward to sharing more details in due course.”

SIC leader Emma Macdonald said: “I am pleased that the Council has been able to identify Statkraft as a prospective tenant – they are an internationally recognised, leading generator of renewable energy.

“As well as providing employment opportunities for Shetland, their proposal also ties in with the Council’s corporate plan ‘Our Ambition 2021-2026’ and Energy Development Principles.”

The next steps of the process leading to the agreement of a lease will now be subject to commercial negotiations between the council and Statkraft.

While these matters progress, there will be no further comment from the council, the SIC said.

Shetland Islands Council previously sought expressions of interest in the Scatsta area for new energy development, and there has been a significant interest by globally operating companies in the area.

The nearby Sullom Voe Terminal (SVT) is also potentially in line to become a new energy hub in the transition away from fossil fuels.

Earlier this month SVT operator EnQuest announced it had been offered carbon storage licences – with the terminal set to be used to import liquid CO2 before it goes offshore.

The successful licence offers are within application areas, known as Northern North Sea 1 and Northern North Sea 2, that are some 99 miles northeast of Shetland and include fields currently operated by EnQuest – Magnus and Thistle – as well as the non-operated Tern and Eider fields.

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