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Crucial Step Forward for Onshore Wind on the Scottish islands

Rachelle Money

Director of Communications

Posted on 11/10/2017 by Rachelle Money

In response to the UK Government's announcement that it intends to allow wind projects on the remote islands of Scotland to compete in the next competitive auction for less established renewable technologies, 


Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:


“This is a crucial step forward in what has been a decade-long process for developers and island communities to see their projects get a route to market.


“The economic impact of deploying large-scale onshore wind on the remote islands may be transformational with estimates that projects could be worth up to £725 million across the Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and Western Isles.


“Seeing our island communities benefit from their substantial natural resource will also prove positive for many businesses across Scotland as the projects build their supply chains and create new jobs.


“While we welcome the UK Government’s commitment to giving renewable energy on the islands a chance to compete for contracts, there are still a number of challenges ahead. There continues to be a lack of grid connection to the GB transmission network and the cost to connect is thought to be nine times higher than some parts of the mainland.


 “Even if those consented onshore wind projects on the islands are successful in securing a contract, getting electricity across to the mainland remains a significant challenge, and so we hope today’s announcement is the beginning of this being addressed.”



Notes to Editors:


  1. BEIS press release issued 11 October, Boost for island wind projects as UK government announces new funding for renewable generation
  2. In 2016 Baringa published an independent study on whether Scottish Island Renewables could make a cost effective contribution to meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets. Its findings can be found here