SSE pledges almost £600 million to Viking windfarm project

SSE Renewables has approved a final investment decision on the Viking Energy windfarm, dedicating almost £600 million to the project.

Managing director of SSE Renewables, Jim Smith, said that the 103-turbine windfarm “will help kickstart the green economic recovery” after coronavirus, and would bringmuch needed lowcarbon investment to Shetland”.

SSE’s capital expenditure on the project is expected to total £580 million.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse welcomed the announcement, calling it “excellent news for Shetland”.

“The Viking wind farm project is also a great symbol for the green recovery that the Scottish government is determined to foster and encourage, as we move through and beyond the current coronavirus pandemic.

“It is essential that the community of Shetland benefits from this project and we look forward to further news of contracts being awarded to local businesses, as well as Scotland as a whole, during the construction phase.”

SSE said they are now waiting on the outcome of Ofgem’s consultation on the windfarm, expected in July 2020, with Ofgem previously saying they were “minded-to” accept Viking’s request to build a 600MW transmission connection from Shetland to the mainland.

Final approval from Ofgem was conditional on the Viking wind farm reaching a positive final investment, which the announcement from SSE confirms.

More in this Friday’s edition of The Shetland Times.



Add Your Comment
  • John Irvine

    • June 18th, 2020 16:44

    I hope people are aware that if this does get the go ahead we will be back to the early days of electricity when there were many power outages.
    Every household will have to buy a generator and the fuel unless they want to frequently sit in the dark and cold.

  • Mark Peterson

    • June 19th, 2020 12:44

    Cite your sources please.

    • Ian Tinkler

      • June 20th, 2020 14:36

      Just a point of interest, SHETLAND Islands Council leader Steven Coutts, never once endorsed Viking Energy during his election campaign onto the Council. he avoided house to house calls with a purported foot injury, avoiding awkward questions. His manifesto never had a single mention of VE. The West Side would have given him a short shift if they realised he was working to a hidden agenda! On the West Side, we call that a Gary Robinson!!!
      SHETLAND Islands Council Convener, Councillor Malcolm Bell is on record as having stated that Viking Energy at its then planned size was too large for Shetland during that election campaign (Shetland Times asking about VE). Does he now endorse an even larger variant of VE? So typical of this rotten project and its backers.

    • Ian Tinkler

      • June 20th, 2020 14:38

      The £1.1 billion, 422km Western Link Interconnector between Scotland, England and Wales is offline for the fourth time since its completion a year ago. Mark, does that give you food for thought?,wind%20farm%20companies%20in%20Scotland.

  • John Irvine

    • June 19th, 2020 17:14

    I am under no obligation to confirm my source but I will say that it was from someone within the industry with vast experience.

    Maybe if some had listened to those who knew what they were talking about instead of taking advise from someone behind a desk we would not be having this conversation.

  • Jim Fraser

    • June 19th, 2020 18:11

    It should also be noted by the public that Alistair Cooper’s assertion that the Viking Energy development will underpin an energy hub at Sullom Voe creating 1000 full time jobs is an absolute fairytale of fantasy. Google it, and you’ll find the progress and effort so far on that initiative is negligible with no major investors committed.

    Also the statement that Viking Energy will pave the way to ‘decarbonizing‘ the North Sea and west of Shetland oil industry is equally a fantasy. The oil industry intends to be around for many decades selling hydrocarbon products, they are in the carbon business and will protect that bitterly.

    Sadly, these are just two of many statements made in the last few days bearing little reality. It does however represent a gross misinformation to the Shetland public as a means to justify support for the Viking Energy project, nothing new there I guess. Disgracefully though, it’s an absolute insult to the many thousands of people of Shetland who have no wish to see the destruction of our island, and to the longtime residents this project will have an appalling permanent influence over.

  • Brian Smith

    • June 20th, 2020 12:17

    It would be good if Alistair Cooper and other cheerleaders for Viking Energy were now interrogated closely by the local media about their claims. That hasn’t happened to date – it is long overdue. All we have had is short quotations from them, with very little close examination.

    • Peter Hamilton

      • June 20th, 2020 18:25

      Brian, Shetland’s old guard’s mantra has long been economic development is good. Looking back thats understandable.

      Looking forwards there are types of economic activity that are more of a continuation than a development, and that can actually be harmful.

      Shetland shouldn’t seek to continue to achieve just any economic activity at the expense of the environment in the name of economic “development”.

      There is nothing “developed” about that approach. That is what Viking, with all the shenanigans that comes with it, represents though.

      Powerful vested interests are lined up to ensure the “development” can “progress”. That doesnt mean various approaches to prevent this greed-driven short-sighted nonsense from going ahead shouldn’t be considered.

      Yes theres pressure now to secure economic activity, and yes, a few in Shetland will definately benefit, but that doesn’t mean a gas powered power station wouldn’t be preferable to wind turbines on peat that will not see their carbon impact paid back, but that are welcomed purely to put money into coffers that are rarely used to meet actual need.

      Its becoming clear Shetland has other types of development to focus on. Fairer societies deliver better long term economic growth. Let’s develop our focus on fair.

    • Anne Gair

      • June 21st, 2020 1:04

      I agree with your comment Brian, I think the situation needs closer scrutiny, and the media would be a good platform to start with. If anyone can get into the politics of this, it would be them! We need to know if our public money is being hijacked to help prop up Viking Energy, £600 million is an awful lot of money and we should not be taking steps to hand this amount of money over if it is just going to be frittered away and we have nothing left to show for it! It would be nice to know how much Viking Energy are putting into the coffers to help in this venture?

  • Ian Tinkler

    • June 21st, 2020 17:44

    Get your generators ready folks.
    The typical performance of interconnectors, maybe soon to be Shetland’s only power source!
    Western Link HVDC interconnector, Hunterson to Deeside. The interconnector was expected to be ready in late 2015, but did not go live until December 2017, It was expected to become fully operational in June 2018.It failed again and again!! The company offered no predicted timetable for a return to service.16th of October worked apparently without incident until the 19th of February 2019 when it failed again. This fault was repaired in a month and the link re-opened on the 22nd of March. However, on the 6th of April the Western Link failed once more.
    Candles needed folks Has SSE VE and SIC shares in a candle manufacturer. Perhaps with Bell, Coutts and Cooper major shareholders!!

  • James Mackenzie

    • June 22nd, 2020 11:15

    Unfortunately the media don’t seem to do much more than allow these spokespersons to utter their nonsense unchallenged…

    So Alastair Cooper can get away with saying that opposition to Viking Energy will fade away when the windfarm is built, just as it apparently did with Sullom Voe Oil Terminal. Yet there’s absolutely no comparison! And he should be ashamed of himself for belittling the continued and undiminished opposition to VE!

    Perhaps the fact that we the public can make challenging, but possibly ephemeral and forgettable, comments on-line takes the onus off the media doing in-depth investigative work? I’d be glad to hear an opinion from The Shetland Times!


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