Shetland wind farm project approved

Scotland's climate is well-suited to wind energy. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Scotland's climate is well-suited to wind energy. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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SCOTTISH ministers have given the green light to controversial proposals to site Europe’s biggest community wind farm in the heart of the Shetland mainland.

The 103 turbine development will be the third biggest renewable energy project in Scotland and provide enough power for 175,000 homes.

Viking Energy, a consortium formed by Shetland Islands Council and Scottish and Southern Energy, had originally announced plans to site 150 turbines across more than 250 hectares of moorland.

The development was then reduced to 127 turbines and ministers have withheld consent for 24 turbines because of concerns about their possible impact on flights at Scatsta Airport.

The go-ahead was hailed yesterday as a major boost for the economy of the islands. But opponents of the scheme, who claim it will blight the Shetland landscape, condemned the decision.

Scottish energy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This wind farm will bring enormous benefits to the people of Shetland, generating more than £30m annual income for the entire Shetland community. Around £20m of that will go directly to the Shetland Charitable Trust.

“The development will create jobs and bring income, and makes the case for an interconnector to connect Shetland for the first time to the National Grid.”