Development of onshore wind and marine energy on the Scottish islands constitutes a separate class of renewable generation, and warrants separate treatment and a different level of support to those projects connecting to the mainland electricity network.
While welcoming the commitment to supporting development of renewable power projects on the Western Isles, the Hebrides, Argyllshire islands and Orkney and Shetland, a spokesperson for Glasgow-based Scottish Renewables said:
“It is essential that prohibitive transmission charges do not damage developments expected to deploy during the second EMR Delivery Plan. This is crucial as investments are being made now, and certainty on this issue is pivotal to ensure investment can continue to flow and technologies can move closer to full commercialisation.
“We are also concerned about the validity of targeting only 400MW of the onshore wind supply curve on the Scottish islands. If the presence of this modelling assumption translates into any type of ‘capacity limit’ under a CfD allocation process, it is highly possible that this could render the uplift impractical and present difficulties in terms of delivering economically efficient sub-sea cabling. The outcome of which would have implications on GB electricity consumers realising the important value for money objectives of the uplift.
“We recognise that not all projects will be built out at the proposed level, but we do feel that targeting only 400MW of the supply curve is particularly flawed. Rather, separate uplift should be provided for each of the island groups on the basis that such uplifts do not exceed the support offered to offshore wind. This is in line with the conclusions and recommendations of the Baringa/TNEI report.”