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Energy / Wind turbine and battery storage system proposed for Luggie’s Knowe

PLANS have been lodged for a new wind turbine up to 150 metres high on the outskirts of Lerwick – along with a battery energy storage system with a capacity up to 15MW.

It is anticipated that it would result in a community benefit payment of £25,000 a year, and developer Shetland Aerogenerators is exploring options to put this towards schemes that seek to reduce fuel poverty.

This includes the idea of routing payments into projects such as Hjaltland Housing Association’s existing fuel vouchers scheme.

The new project would see another turbine installed at Luggie’s Knowe on the Hill of Gremista near Dales Voe.

What the site could look like with the new turbine. Image: Shetland Aerogenerators

There is already one Shetland Aerogenerators turbine there but it is smaller with a tip height of 121m and generating capacity of 3MW.

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The new turbine would be more along the lines of those found in the Viking Energy development in the Central Mainland – a similar height and generating capacity of 5MW.

It would also replace previous plans for two more turbines at the site, which did not come to fruition.

If consent for the project is granted, construction work could start in 2025 depending on availability of technology. The build time is estimated to be between nine and 12 months.

In addition to the turbine at Luggie’s Knowe, Shetland Aerogenerators operates the long-running Burradale wind farm which sits on the hill visible as folk drive out of Lerwick’s north end.

Planning documents explain that planning permission was granted in 2012 for three turbines at Luggie’s Knowe, each up to 121m in height. Only one of these turbines was constructed, in 2015.

“However, the remaining two permitted turbines and associated infrastructure have not been constructed, and due to expansion works at the neighbouring Lerwick Port Authority Dales Voe Base, the western most previously permitted turbine location is no longer advisable for engineering reason,” a planning document said.

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It added that technological advancements since the original planning consenting 2012 has resulted in the consideration of larger capacity turbines as well as the inclusion of a batter storage system “to account for grid instabilities”.

The battery system would also widen the scope for potential purchasers of the energy produced from the turbine.

It would include elements such as energy storage modules, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, fire suppression equipment and cooling plant.

It would be much smaller in capacity than the battery storage system planned for opposite Lerwick Power Station, which would be up to 70MW.

Meanwhile it is estimated that the proposed development would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 6,900 average Scottish households.

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Project manager Lauren Anderson said: “We are pleased to have reached this phase in development.

“The existing consent was obtained over 11 years ago, and we’ve spent the last 18 months carrying out a full Environmental Impact Assessment in line with National Planning Framework 4.

“This project demonstrates less impact and greater benefit than the consented option it replaces.

“The addition of our BESS [battery energy storage system] will give us new options for how we can use this locally generated energy, with potential to store excess power until it is needed and consider new customers among the nearby industries.”

Shetland Aerogenerators chief executive David Thomson said the local firm has “pioneered the development of renewable energy in Shetland”.

“This will be another significant investment by us in Shetland’s energy transition,” he said.

“Our vision is to deliver clean sustainable energy, along with improved energy security and local employment opportunities. Our company is changing to meet the challenges ahead while supporting Shetland’s drive towards its net zero targets.

“I’m also excited about the potential for this development to make a difference to fuel poverty in Shetland, through any partnership we can explore with Hjaltland Housing Association.”

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