Viking Energy has welcomed the announcement by UK energy secretary Ed Davey of plans for a minimum “strike price” for renewable power produced in the Scottish islands.
Mr Davey made the announcement at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow yesterday, confirming his intention for a minimum price of £115 per megawatt hour to be paid to developers in the islands – £15 more than that promised to companies on the UK mainland.
“This is good news for the future of renewables in Scotland and this unique solution will pave the way for more investment in green energy” Mr Davey said.
“Thanks to consumers across the whole of the United Kingdom, we can offer this special higher strike price, so Britain gets more green energy, so consumers’ bills in Scotland are kept affordable and so the green economy of the islands grows.
“It is now down to investors to come forward and work with us to ensure the Scottish islands share in renewable technology and UK-wide green growth.”
The higher price is considered necessary in order to counterbalance the additional costs associated with renewables projects in the islands. A consultation on the decision will last for six weeks.
Viking Energy’s head of development Aaron Priest called the announcement “a very positive step forward”.
“We now have a figure for further detailed consideration” he said, “and we look forward to the next stage in the consultation process.”
Viking Energy Shetland chairman Alan Bryce said: “We look forward to examining the details but this could be another big step towards building one of the world’s best onshore wind farms. The Shetland community stands to benefit hugely from its part-ownership of the project through Shetland Charitable Trust.”
Nobody from Sustainable Shetland has been available to comment.