Shetland Amenity Trust, which is charged with protecting the environment and the cultural heritage of Shetland, has objected to the Viking Energy windfarm proposal.
In a formal statement to the Scottish government’s energy consents unit, the body currently assessing the application, the trust gives three main reasons why it believes construction should not go ahead.
However, at the heart of the objection is a list of 20 areas where it believes Viking Energy has provided insufficient information for the proposal to be assessed properly.
At the top of that list is the carbon payback time, estimated by Viking to be between 2.3 and 14.9 years. The trust statement says: “Many assumptions are made in calculating the carbon payback time … We therefore have little confidence in the projected figures for best, intermediate and worst case scenarios.
“Indeed, we believe there has been no proper assessment of a worst case scenario for this development.”
The report states that the Shetland landscape is “of international importance” deserving of protection, and the Viking proposal would have “too great an adverse impact”.
The construction of the turbines and access roads will damage a landscape currently only occupied by a “unique assemblage of wildlife”, including breeding bird populations.
Shetland Amenity Trust receives 45 per cent of its funding from Shetland Charitable Trust, which stands to gain up to £23 million a year from the windfarm if it is built.