UK: Stornoway onshore wind farm given green light

Lewis Wind Power – a joint venture involving Amec, EDF Energy and the Stornoway Trust – had originally wanted to install 42 turbines.

Planning consent was granted for a 36-turbine wind farm 1.5km west of Stornoway, Lewis, which will generate 129.6 megawatts electricity (enough to power 60,000 homes).

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said it will support 75 jobs in the Western Isles and generate contracts worth £40 million to the local economy.

The Scottish Government hopes the wind farm will bolster the case for the Western Isles sub-sea cable which would free up the area’s renewable potential to generate electricity for the mainland, including for emerging marine energy technology.

The original application had 42 wind turbines but RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) raised objections about the potential impact on the Lewis Peatlands special protection area.

The developer, Lewis Wind Power, a joint venture between consultancy and engineering firm Amec and energy firm EDF, is said to have worked with both groups to find a solution, while Mr Ewing withheld consent for the six turbines which would have had the most impact on the area.

Mr Ewing said: “I’m delighted to consent the Stornoway wind farm which will represent a significant boost to the economy of the Western Isles and create jobs during construction and in the longer term.

“Once it is up and running, the wind farm will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and will produce enough electricity to power more than 60,000 homes. I am confident that the wind farm will provide great benefits to its local community and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand generated from renewables.

“I am particularly pleased that the developer was able to work with SNH and RSPB to develop proposals which allowed this wind farm to go ahead whilst minimising effects on Lewis’s important natural heritage.

“In consenting this application, I have put in place a series of conditions to protect the outstanding natural habitats and landscapes and local communities.”