Viking Energy has struck a deal with the Shetland Community Benefit Fund (SCBF) to deliver funds throughout the windfarm’s expected 25-year lifespan.
The agreement commits Viking Energy to providing around £2.2 million a year to the fund, with payments starting once the subsea interconnector cable begins to take electricity from the windfarm to the mainland.
The benefit fund will also receive a sum of around £400,000 a year during the construction of the windfarm, which is expected to begin in August.
That £400,000 will go towards setting up an “Advanced Grant Scheme”, which will operate three tiers of grants that will be available to projects proposed by community councils around the isles.
SCBF chairman Chris Bunyan said this agreement with Viking opened up tremendous opportunities to help sustain and develop local communities.
“It has always been the intention of both SCBF and Viking Energy that the whole of Shetland should have access to these funds – with the four community council areas within the windfarm boundary getting a bigger share of available funds.
“The funds will be available for potential projects from Fair Isle to Unst, and from Foula to Skerries.”
Mr Bunyan said they would be explaining their plans to the public “as widely as possible”.