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Shetland 200MW wind vision

Islands companies to cooperate on Yell and Unst development

Shetland 200MW wind vision image

Local consortium Energy Isles is to kick off development work for a wind farm of up to 200MW in Shetland.

Scoping work for the project on the islands of Yell and Unst, which would be the UK’s most northerly, will get underway shortly.

No specific sites have been identified and no choices have been made about the size and number of turbines. Community support for a wind farm is strong in Yell and Unst, however, and five of the 18 original investing companies are based there.

“A wind farm project of this scale will bring jobs, money and community benefit which are sorely needed in Unst and Yell,” said Energy Isles investor and Unst crofter Derek Jamieson.

“When the interconnector cable links Shetland to the national electricity grid, it is clear that there will be plenty of headroom on it for us to export additional clean energy from a wind farm in the North Isles.

“We can sit back and let outside companies come in and provide that or we can seize the initiative and do it ourselves. We have chosen to start the ball rolling.”

Unst has suffered depopulation in recent years following the closure of the RAF Saxa Vord base and the island’s airport.

Investor John Henderson, owner of marine engineering firm Ocean Kinetics, said that it was vital for Shetland companies to become directly involved in renewable energy in the isles.

“The skills are all here, in development, in engineering and in technical knowledge and understanding,” he said. “Shetland’s economy is booming at the moment but a quick glance at our history will tell you how fragile island economies are.

“It’s really important that we open the door to renewable energy in Shetland and then build and support it for the benefit of people living here.”

Any proposed development by Energy Isles would depend on the interconnector cable to be built for the Viking Energy wind farm later this decade.

Image: Shetland is already being eyed by major wind developers (Shetland Islands Council)

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