23rd July 2019
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Council adjourns Viking Energy decision

A meeting to determine whether the council will object to an application to increase the size of the turbines which would form the Viking Energy windfarm has been adjourned amid confusion among members.

The firm is seeking permission to increase the height of the proposed 103 turbines by 10 metres to a maximum of 155 metres.

The Scottish government will have the final say on whether the project goes ahead but councillors met on Wednesday afternoon to discuss whether the local authority would, as a formal consultee, object to the application.

Councillors expressed dismay saying that it was unclear which new or modified conditions were being considered. Those matters already determined in 2009 and 2010 were not under the microscope.

Lerwick South councillor Cecil Smith said that he also felt uncomfortable that this decision was being taken by the council’s planning committee, with just a handful of members present, as opposed to the full council.

However, he was informed that a decision had to be made within 24 hours if the council were to fulfil its duty as a statutory consultee.

Meanwhile, Shetland South member George Smith said that he wanted a new report brought before the council which made it clear what specific issues were relevant to the varied consent application.

Councillor Catherine Hughson asked whether an extension could be granted to allow the council further time to consider its response.

The meeting was adjourned to allow the council’s corporate services executive manager Jan Riise to seek clarity on this issue.

• More in Friday’s Shetland Times.

About Keegan Murray

Reporter for The Shetland Times. Interested in politics, literature and music. Born and bred Shetlander. Long suffering Newcastle United supporter.

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3 comments

  1. ALAN SKINNER

    In 2012, we were told that SCT’s 45% stake in Viking Energy was worth £57m. I believe that SCT retained the excellent Noble Grossart, in order to advise them on their Viking investment. I would be very interested to see Noble Grossart’s 2019 valuation of the SCT stake. It is critical for us, the residents of Shetland, to decide whether the proposed wind farm developments make any sort of sense, and whether they should be supported.
    Owning a tourism-related business in Yell, I have a very strong feeling that the Viking Energy development in the mainland, and the Energy Isles development in Yell, will totally destroy the tourism business in Shetland. When we make decisions that will impact Shetland for the next twenty years,it is essential that we have the best possible professional advice, rather that the opinions of a few self-interested people.
    Let us be very careful about what we approve, for an astonishingly beautiful wilderness.

    Alan Skinner

    Reply
  2. Johan Adamson

    I too am worried about the finance of all of this. What price are they going to bid in the CFD auction? One which is too high and they don’t win? One which is too low and actually ends up not viable? Who else is bidding?

    It was the SIC who passed the Viking Energy project to SCT. Does the SCT trust deed allow for further investment in VE? If it does then surely it will allow SCT to invest in other capital projects such as tunnels to the isles?

    Reply
    • Christopher Johnston

      The 2018 accounts of SCT and its subsidiary SCT renewables are available online and make interesting reading. It seems that SCT Renewables pays all of the normal operating expenses for the Viking Energy development and invested an additional £475,000 in 2017.

      Reply

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