Energy minister will see Burradale wind generators up close
UK energy and climate change minister Ed Davey was due to arrive in Shetland today ahead of visits to the Burradale windfarm and the Total gas plant on Tuesday morning.
Mr Davey is due to dine with SIC representatives tonight, when councillors will make the case for Sullom Voe to be the main “hub” for west of Shetland oil and gas activity.
Members are also expected to press for a more favourable charging regime for transmitting renewable energy down to the UK mainland.
Mr Davey will also meet Viking Energy representatives and take part in a question and answer session with pupils at Brae High School on Tuesday morning.
SIC development committee chairman Alastair Cooper said: “We have infrastructure at Sullom Voe, and we can handle a lot more than what we’re handling at the moment.
“Basically I don’t want to see pipelines going down west of Shetland and destroying more fishing grounds. We’ve had enough disruption in the North Sea. I’ll be making a plea for Shetland to be the hub for west of Shetland, and everything coming into Sullom Voe.”
Energy regulator Ofgem is currently reviewing a system which would see potential windfarm operators in Shetland paying up to 66 times the rate paid by a power generator in the south west of England.
Mr Cooper said that with Vattenfall hoping to build a wave farm to the south west of Burra and lots of other interest, it was vital to have a “level playing field” on transmission charges to encourage more tidal and wave projects.
“We do have a wind, a wave and a tidal resource in Shetland which could help the renewables industry,” he said.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Davey said he was eager to work with the Scottish Government, industry and regulatory bodies to make the most of the promising energy resources north of the border.
“This is an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work together to ensure we have cheaper, cleaner, reliable energy,” he said.