Champion mountain-biker takes community liaison role
Lewis Wind Power has opened a new office in Stornoway so that people can drop in and talk to employees about its two proposed wind farms.
The opening follows the appointment of champion mountain biker Kerry MacPhee to look after community liaison for the projects. She will join stakeholder relations manager David Morrison at the office on Cromwell Street Quay. It will be open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Lewis Wind Power is a joint venture between Edinburgh-based EDF Energy Renewables and Wood from Aberdeen. It is developing the Uisenis and Stornoway wind projects which are the two largest developments in the Western Isles.
The size of the proposed projects is critical in making the financial case for a much needed interconnector cable from the Western Isles to the Scottish mainland. Substantial development of wind farms on the island can only happen if the electricity can be easily exported to the National Grid. The development will unlock significant community benefits in payments, ownership and jobs.
Kerry, who is from South Uist, will be available to talk to community groups and listen to any concerns they might have.
She said: “The new office is our base on Lewis but I expect to be out and about talking to local people explaining our plans as we move forward with the projects.
“The Lewis Wind Projects offer the best possible chance of delivering large scale wind power on the Western Isles, and the many jobs and huge local economic impact that would follow.”
Lewis Wind Power believes that 2018 will be a critical year for the two projects. It is hoped that the island wind projects will be given the green light to compete in auctions for low carbon electricity in early 2019.
Speaking at the opening of the new office, Mark Vyvyan-Robinson, Lewis Wind Power director said:
“We want to make it easy for people to find out what is going on with the projects and I am delighted that Kerry has taken the community liaison role. She understands and cares about the Western Isles and it’s great that she has been able to come back to work with us.
“Lewis Wind Power has a big responsibility in 2018 to make sure that these projects can win contracts against other renewables projects across the UK. We will also firm up plans for community ownership with the Council and Stornoway Trust.
“Investment in the interconnector can only be triggered by our projects, which have planning consent and a grid connection. The interconnector would mean there would be scope for more community projects on the Western Isles.
“It would also unlock the potential for up to 600 jobs at the peak of construction and up to £400 million of economic benefit over the lifetime of the planned and future developments.”