Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has warmly welcomed the UK Government announcement that onshore wind on the islands can compete in the next competitive auction for less established renewable technologies (Contracts for Difference) to be held in spring 2019.
This will enable developers to take forward on shore wind projects in the Islands.
Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Roddie Mackay, said: "This is very good news for the Islands and the development of the renewables industry. The Comhairle has been campaigning for this for a number of years and this is another step forward in enabling the Islands to become a major secure supplier of clean, green energy for the UK. It would also be of enormous benefit to the economy of the islands and we look forward to engaging with the Government to consider the appropriate levels of funding for the auction.
As soon as developer commitment and regulatory approval is confirmed through the 2019 Auction, the Transmission Owner, SSE Networks, have indicated that they will start work on the new Transmission connection for the Western Isles."
A 2013 report for the UK and Scottish governments concluded that wind projects on the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland could supply around 3% of the UK’s total electricity demand whilst potentially creating hundreds of local jobs.