CALLS for Scottish and Southern Energy to ensure that the district heating scheme can use excess heat generated from its new power station in Lerwick were stepped up this week.
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott met SSE chief executive Ian Marchant in Perth on Wednesday and reiterated calls from councillors in recent weeks for the company to stop pouring heat into Lerwick harbour.
SSE is currently investigating where to build a new power station which meets modern pollution standards, with possible sites on the outskirts of Lerwick including Rova Head and Dales Voe. A new station will be needed regardless of whether the proposed Viking Energy windfarm goes ahead because of SSE’s legal obligation to provide energy for the people of Shetland.
Mr Scott said a situation where up to 60 per cent of energy at the existing station was being wasted was unacceptable and that he had received assurances that the spare energy in a new plant can be used in the district heating scheme.
“Shetland will see investment in a power station,” he said. “It’s SSE’s job to keep the lights on and I am pleased they are planning for the future needs of the islands. That work continues irrespective of whether Viking Energy happens or not.
“I also want to ensure that a new power station is designed to work with the district heating scheme in Lerwick. Local people are still asking to be connected to the district heating so I have asked the SSE [to] speak directly to the district heating company about their plans.”
Mr Scott added that it was important for SSE to “double their efforts” to help hard-pressed families and individuals as the economic situation worsens.
But SSE was not particularly forthcoming on any details of the discussions following its talks with Mr Scott. In a short statement, Mr Marchant said it had been a positive meeting where the two parties had been able to discuss a “wide range” of possible future sustainable energy solutions.
He said: “The challenges of energy in Shetland are both complex and exciting and if we all work together I believe we can make Shetland a world class example of energy excellence.”