Lewis Wind Power’s projects would deliver a series of benefits to Lewis and the wider Western Isles economy.
- Community ownership
- Community benefit payments
- Rental payments
- Delivery of the interconnector to the mainland
- Growth in employment and wider economic development
Lewis Wind Power is working closely with the Stornoway Trust, the local community landowner, and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, as they seek to develop a joint venture to acquire the Trust’s option of up to 20% of the Stornoway Wind Farm and the council’s option of up to 30% of the Uisenis Wind Farm. The proposed joint venture would be one of the largest community owners of renewable power anywhere in the UK.
Community Benefit Payments
The Stornoway and Uisenis Wind Farms would each pay significant sums every year to local trusts to distribute to local projects and organisations.
Stornoway Wind Farm would be sited on the Stornoway Trust Estate and pay an annual commercial rent to the Trust for the land required by the project. LWP would also make payments to each of the grazings on which the wind farm would be built, with these subject to approval by the Scottish Land Court.
Delivery of the Interconnector to the Mainland
No further onshore wind development can take place on Lewis as the electricity network is at full capacity. This will continue to be the case until and unless a new interconnector to the mainland is built. However, given the cost of the connection, the interconnector can only be delivered once a solid ‘needs case’ is in place’, and this requires a critical mass of generation to connect within a certain time frame.
Scottish and Southern Energy Networks submitted a fresh needs case for a 600MW interconnector to Ofgem in August 2018, predicated on the success of LWP’s two projects in next year’s auction for Contracts for Difference.
Employment and Wider Economic Impacts
A report commissioned by EDF Energy Renewables and produced by respected consultancy BVG Associates found that during construction of LWP’s wind farms and the interconnector to the mainland there would be more than 600 people employed at the peak of construction activity. The report can be accessed here.
The report found that longer term, onshore wind projects on the Western Isles in aggregate could add up to £33m a year to the local economy, and support several hundred jobs on an ongoing basis.
Lewis Wind Power is committed to actively engaging with potential local suppliers and to placing as much work locally as possible.