‘Remote’ Scottish islands now able to seek Brit-Govt support for wind power projects

The 'remote' Western Isles
The ‘remote’ Western and Orkney Isles

The Brit-Govt. has announced plans to allow wind projects on what it calls the ‘remote’ islands of Scotland to compete in the next competitive auction for less established renewable technologies (Contracts for Difference) to be held in spring 2019.

The Brit-Govt. has submitted an application to the European Commission seeking state aid approval for this change to the Contracts for Difference scheme.

The UK government also announced that up to £557 million of support will be available for future Contracts for Difference auctions.

Last month’s competitive auction to bring more renewable projects into the market brought forward commitments for enough electricity generation to power 3.6 million homes.

It secured 3.2GW of electricity from offshore wind projects including the Moray East offshore wind farm which will provide 950MW of capacity, capable of powering over 950,000 homes.

A 2013 report for the British and Scottish governments concluded that wind projects on the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland could supply around 3% of the UK’s total electricity demand. Brit-Govt Energy Minister Richard Harrington, MP, commented:

”Scotland has a strong record in exploiting the potential of clean growth, with more than half of Scottish electricity consumption coming from renewable sources.

“We want to go further creating thousands of good jobs and attracting billions of pounds worth of investment. That’s why we are ensuring that remote (<from London> island wind projects in Scotland, which have the potential to benefit the island communities directly, have access to the same funding opportunities as offshore wind in the next renewables auction round.

David Mundell, MP, the Brit-Govt’s minister for Scotland, added: “With over 700MW of wind projects with current planning consents on these islands, this announcement gives certainty that the UK is an attractive place to invest.

“This will also benefit the skilled UK supply chain, with many projects expected to spend over 50% of their capital and operating costs within the UK.”

12 Oct 2017

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