Windfarm approval vital if Shetland is to benefit from renewables jobs – SCDI

Approval of the Viking Energy windfarm is vital if Shetland is to capitalise on the economic and job opportunities becoming available as national energy policy moves towards supporting areas with the best renewable resources.

That is the message from the economic development body the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), which has written to the Scottish government recommending that it give consent to the application.

David Richardson, SCDI Highlands and Islands manager, said the windfarm would produce up to 457MW and, as Shetland’s peak electricity demand is just over 50MW, a large surplus would be exported to the rest of the country. Shetland suppliers, meanwhile, could benefit by more than £2 million of new business each year. Mr Richardson said the windfarm was expected to generate £23 million per year and £930 million across its lifetime for the Shetland Charitable Trust.

Mr Richardson said: “Harnessing Scotland’s vast natural resources is an economic and environmental imperative, a once-in-a-generation investment opportunity which must be maximised for all of Scotland.

“The Scottish and UK governments have both established stretching targets for renewable electricity generation and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and there is, in consequence, a new recognition of the need to support investment in wind energy generation which chooses to locate in the areas of the UK with the most favourable weather resources.

“Shetland is a prime location for an onshore windfarm, with a number of the most productive turbines anywhere in the world, and a very short carbon payback on projects. The long-term income generated by the Viking windfarm would also be reinvested to create economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits for Shetland, representing a unique opportunity to diversify the economy and address its long-term economic and demographic challenges.

“A development of this scale is also necessary to justify the case for a sub-sea inter-connector cable. This would, in due course, open up opportunities for all renewable energy technologies in Shetland and the north of Scotland, initially offshore wind, then wave and tidal energy. These would also be able to capitalise on the skills and supply chain which had been created and so the Viking windfarm would be the basis of a new industry on Shetland.

“The Viking windfarm will make a considerable contribution to Scotland’s renewable electricity and climate change targets, and significantly enhance Shetland’s economic and environmental prospects and reputation. SCDI, therefore, recommends that it is consented.”


Add Your Comment
  • Johnny Smith

    • November 23rd, 2010 17:36

    I have lived in Shetland since 1975 (father born on Bressay) and think that those whom are against the proposed Viking windfarm are people without brains to say the least. We have a great opportunity here to produce something useful for the UK which will not only benefit those people south, but the population of Shetland will reap the rewards each year.

    If I had my way, I would install ten times that amount. Has the people of Shetland lost control of it’s sense’s?

    Yes there have been many of those whom do not wish to see advancement, many of you have already condemned the project without looking to the future for everyone. In fact, many of you have signed these petitions just because they knocked on your door just to get rid of them. Others have signed (this is a usual trick in Shetland) whilst under the influence of drink – namely in licensed premises – You have been seen!

    Come on you Shetlanders – Get your act together for once oin your life now, and help provide Shetland with a yearly income which will generate Jobs and much more besides…

    Johnny Smith (Bressay)

  • Billy Fox, Chairman, Sustainable Shetland

    • November 23rd, 2010 21:23

    I don’t see any Shetland residents on the SCDI staff, SCDI board,SCDI executive, or the SCDI Highland & Islands Committee, yet they seem to to be keen to tell us what is good for us!

  • Andrew H Mackay

    • November 24th, 2010 11:25

    It may be true that, subject to the vagaries of the wind, that these proposed turbines will generate at 457MW. Assuming Shetland only ‘needs’ 50MW of that, the implication that 407MW can be exported to the Scottish Mainland is just wishful and unscientific thinking.

    Basic arithmetic is not the way you ‘count’ when it comes to electrical supply. The sad reality is that large multinational companies are pulling out of renewables in their droves, because they are starting to realise that there is little or no profits in off-shore wind, waves and tidal streams.

    I fear that Viking are being duped by a company who wants other people’s money to build an inconnector to Shetland so that electrcity from the mainland can be imported to Shetland- not the other way round.


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