Energy consultants forecast 6,000 jobs boom for Western Isles if Lewis Wind Power turbine parcs go ahead

CGI of what Lewis Wind Power's Western Isles turbine parc will look like if developed.
CGI of what Lewis Wind Power’s Western Isles turbine parc will look like if developed.

Almost 6,000 new full-time equivalent jobs could be created in the Western Isles if the construction of two planned Lewis Wind Power turbine parcs – already approved by the local cooncil – go ahead.

This is the key conclusion of a cost-benefits analysis compiled by BVG Associates, an independent energy consultancy, for the EDF – Lewis Wind Power project partners if the Stornoway and Uisenis wind turbine parcs proceed to development.

In addition to the renewable energy generation assets, the project also provides for construction of a high-voltage DC connection to the UK Grid and further onshore wind developments, which would generate 5,970 full time equivalent job years and £164 million in local value added for the Western Isle economy.

The BVG Associates’ analysis is based on a scenario in which a high voltage grid connection with a 600MW capacity is built, both EDF ER wind farms are built to their consented capacity (342MW) by 2021 plus a further 180MW of onshore wind farms. This additional capacity includes the consented 46MW Tolsta project, plus a number of smaller wind farms.

Local benefit for the Western Isles would be greater than for other local communities with other mainland onshore wind farms because:

  • There is a significant pool of available construction workers on the islands
  • A high priority is placed on community ownership by Western Isles Development Trust and the local cooncil, and
  • Due to accessibility, contractors will find it more costly than on the mainland to bring in workers.

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