Community council urges energy giants to move project to another site

A community council has urged two energy giants to look for alternative sites for a major project.

Statkraft and SSEN are currently looking to build a substation to connect the Mossy Hill windfarm to the new 132kV power lines being erected just outside Tingwall.

That is likely to be built to the west of where the top end of Ladies Drive meets the A970 main road north out of Lerwick.

Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council has now urged the two companies to reconsider their choice.

Chairman Andrew Archer said some people may not realise “how big these buildings are” that are being proposed by the energy giants.

“The larger building is 105-metres long – that’s longer than the new Anderson High School,” he said.

“Rather than digging up yet another bit of the landscape, Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council feels that other options should be properly explored before the proposals go any further.”

Mr Archer said they had suggested the buildings be constructed at the Staney Hill quarry instead.

But he said Statkraft “won’t even consider our suggestion”.

“We are asking them to pause the process, talk to the quarry owner and the quarry operator and see whether it is possible. 

“Surely that’s not too much to ask.”

Statkraft project manager John Thouless said he was grateful that people from the community had reached out to discuss their concerns.

However, there had been a thought process before selecting its proposed site near Ladies Drive.

“The site has been carefully chosen, in order to safeguard critical infrastructure, minimise visual impact, and reduce disruption for local residents during construction,” Mr Thouless said.

“I’m looking forward to speaking to members of the local community soon, as our plans progress.”


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