Scottish ministers have given their backing to Viking Energy’s plans to increase the turbine size of its planned windfarm in the isles.
The tip height increase is a variation to the original consent granted in 2012, which will allow the 103 turbine site to construct turbines with a tip height of up to 155 metres.
That represents an increase of 10 metres on the previously consented height.
In an unattributed statement, a Viking Energy “spokesman” said: “It’s another big positive for Viking as we work towards starting construction of the windfarm next year.
“The increase in tip height is a relatively modest but important change which allows the project to choose from the latest and most efficient turbines on the market and increase the amount of renewable power that can be generated.
“In granting consent, ministers drew attention to the seriousness of climate change and reiterated their priority of cutting carbon emissions.
“Viking Energy looks forward to playing its part in facilitating the transition to a low carbon future in Shetland and across Scotland.
“By installing a slightly larger turbines we will also be able to increase the amount of community benefit generated, making up to £2.2m available annually to the communities of Shetland for the lifetime of the windfarm.
“It is pleasing that ministers acknowledge the potential for the revised windfarm project to bring ‘substantial positive net economic benefits both to Shetland and Scotland’, which they consider important to an area seeking to diversify its economy.”
Viking is preparing for the Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction, opening in the coming week, with the results of the auction expected between August and early November.
It says it is also preparing for early construction of the Kergord access track and the building of temporary construction compounds.