Islands interconnector could support community wind projects - MSP

7 June 2018

Labour Energy spokesperson Lewis Macdonald today called on the Scottish Government to give its support to plans for a 600 MW Western Isles Interconnector, which would ensure the progress of large-scale as well as smaller community-owned windfarm projects.

The interconnector would allow renewable projects on the Western Isles to sell surplus energy to the mainland, ensuring that local communities would also benefit financially from the schemes.

Speaking after today’s Member’s Business debate on ensuring appropriate community benefit from windfarms, Lewis said:

“The Western Isles Interconnector is the last piece of the puzzle in ensuring that island communities can enjoy the same renewable energy benefits as their counterparts on the mainland.

“Once the interconnector is in place, EDF Renewables can start to build their large-scale windfarms.

"But it would also allow islanders to develop community-owned wind turbines, to generate clean power and earn money for local good causes.

“Community benefit is an important part of any infrastructure project, and windfarms along with other renewable energy projects have the potential to generate substantial sums of money for the local area.

“Vattenfall recently announced that their Aberdeen Bay windfarm will see local communities benefitting to the tune of £30 million over twenty years – a significant investment in communities across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”