Construction of a £27million windfarm in Lewis is finally due to get under way, some 11 years after the project was first mooted.
The Pentland Road Windfarm has received a massive loan from the Co-operative Bank to build six huge turbines on crofters’ rough grazings, two miles west of Stornoway.
The scheme, sited by protected moorland and golden eagles, was in limbo for much of the past decade due to objections from air traffic control and aviation bodies.
At one point a public inquiry was due to be held but negotiations between the developer and National Air Traffic Services, Highlands and Islands Airports which operates Stornoway Airport, and the Civil Aviation Authority eventually sorted out the dispute.
SSE Power Distribution will instal an underground cable to connect the new windfarm control building to the main Stornoway sub-station.
Peter Crone, director of Pentland Road Windfarm Ltd, said: “This windfarm is a landmark project not just for the Western Isles but for wind technology itself.
“It will be the first time a project as large as this has been installed in such a remote and weak electricity network.”
The windfarm will be connected to the existing Lewis and Harris grid and will be completed in early 2013, more than two years ahead of the proposed subsea cable link with the Scottish mainland, which is due to be installed in 2015. A number of crofters who took out apportionments – an exclusive parcel of land – from the grazings have reversed the process in recent weeks and are now entitled to financial benefits from the energy scheme.