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Energy / Initial talks about turning wind farm compound into public carpark

An aerial view of the Scar Quilse compound at the northern end of the Lang Kames, taken in 2021 before turbines were erected in the area. Photo: Viking Energy

EARLY discussions have been held on the prospect of one of the Viking Energy construction compounds becoming a public carpark once the wind farm is operational.

The compound in question is the one located furthest north, south of Voe.

The 103-turbine wind farm is set to go live this summer.

Two temporary compounds were set up to provide bases for workers during the construction.

The main one was south of the Halfway House, whilst there was a “north” one off the A970 south of Voe.

The north compound has more recently been used by turbine manufacturer Vestas.

A planning monitoring officer report published in December suggested that that talks are underway about the retention or repurposing of the north one as a public car park in the future.

It would be the wind farm developer applying to turn the compound into a public car park, not the council.

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council said: “Some initial discussions have taken place with the developer on this, and we expect to receive planning applications in due course.”

Wind farm developer SSE Renewables said it did not have anything to add to what was said in the planning monitoring report.

It is expected that people will be able to use the many miles of tracks once construction is finished, opening up a number of new walking and cycling routes.

The planning monitoring officer report added that preparations are underway for the removal of a “significant proportion” of the temporary office and welfare provision at the main compound in early 2024.

All 103 turbines have been installed and work continues on electrical commissioning.

It is expected that the wind farm will be “energised” this summer.

In tandem with this the new 600MW subsea transmission link is due to go live in July.

This will allow the wind farm to export power to the national grid on the UK mainland.

Lerwick Power Station is also set to go into standby mode by 2025.

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