Western Isles wind-power projects could create up to 600 new jobs

Kerry MacPhee from South Uist has been appointed by Lewis Wind Power to boost its application
Kerry MacPhee from South Uist has been appointed by Lewis Wind Power to boost its application

Lewis Wind Power has opened a new community information office in Stornoway on its two proposed wind farms, which the developers say could create up to 600 new jobs and support a new inter-connector to mainland Scotland.

Lewis Wind Power is a joint venture between Aberdeen global oil-field engineering services giant Wood Group and the renewables division of French-owned nuclear giant EDF.

Their Uisenis and Stornoway wind projects are the two largest developments in the Western Isles. 

The scale of the proposed wind-turbine power stations is critical in making the financial case for a interconnector cable from the Western Isles to the mainland. 

Substantial development of wind farms on the island can only happen if the electricity can be easily exported to the National Grid and the developers say this will unlock significant community benefits in payments, ownership and jobs. 

Lewis Wind Power believes that 2018 will be a critical year for the two projects and hopes that the projects will be given the green light to compete in auctions for low carbon electricity in early 2019. 

Mark Vyvyan-Robinson, Lewis Wind Power director said: “We have a big responsibility in 2018 to make sure that these projects can win contracts against other renewables projects across the UK. We will also firm up plans for community ownership with the council and Stornoway Trust. 

“Investment in the interconnector can only be triggered by our projects, which have planning consent and a grid connection.  The interconnector would mean there would be scope for more community projects on the Western Isles. 

“It would also unlock the potential for up to 600 jobs at the peak of construction and up to £400 million of economic benefit over the lifetime of the planned and future developments.”

5 Mar 2018

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