EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News
Lewis Wind Power (LWP) – a joint venture between engineering and construction group Amec Foster Wheeler and EDF Energy Renewables – has bought new wind farm acreage on the Isle of Lewis as it seeks to sell output into the wider UK grid via a planned sub-sea cable.
LWP’s acquisition of Uisenis Wind Farm for an undisclosed amount gives it the ability to install 45 turbines with a generating capacity of 162 megawatts.
This would be enough to power 124,000 homes and would be the biggest renewable energy development in the Western Isles.
Combined with its nearby Stornoway Wind Farm project which has planning permission for 36 turbines totalling 180 MW, LWP says the combined 342 MW of capacity brings it just shy of that needed to underpin construction of a power cable to the Scottish mainland.
Matthieu Hue, Chief Executive, EDF Renewables – part of the nuclear-power colossus EDF Group – said: “This strengthens the case for an interconnector to the mainland which will unlock the economic potential of the Western Isles and secure the development of the island’s renewables sector.”
LWP said it hopes the two projects will be able to enter the next UK government auction round for supplying low-carbon electricity.
Garry Morton, Commercial Director, Amec Foster Wheeler said: “The ownership of the two wind farms, Stornoway Wind Farm and Uisenis Wind Farm, will bring benefits to the island through community benefit, employment and local procurement.
“There will also be an option offered to the local council to take a stake in the project, which is a similar opportunity to that offered to the Stornoway Trust on the Stornoway Wind Farm.
Cllr Angus Campbell, Leader of Western Isles Cooncil, said: “The acquisition of Uisenis Wind Farm by Lewis Wind Power presents a fantastic opportunity to see this wind farm constructed and deliver significant benefits both to the local community and the Western Isles as a whole with an option for the council to purchase a significant stake in the project.
“This is welcome news that can only strengthen the case for the construction of the interconnector. “