Scottish ministers have approved additional consents for the Stornoway Wind Farm on Lewis, allowing developers the option of larger and more modern turbines.
Lewis Wind Power – a 50:50 joint venture between EDF Renewables and Wood – is behind the Stornoway Wind Farm development, located to the west of the town of Stornoway in an area close to the three existing wind farm sites.
The site was initially consented in 2012, for provision of 36 turbines spaced at up to 145 metres. Further amendments were also made in 2015.
Its latest consented design allows up to 24 turbines with a tip height of up to 180m and nine turbines with a tip height of up to 156m, comprising a total of up to 33 turbines.
The updated permission also increases the separation distance between several turbines in the eastern part of the site and the town.
The consent follows two rounds of community consultation on the company’s proposals, which included public exhibitions at Stornoway Town Hall in October 2018 and February 2019.
Developers said they had made changes to their proposal based on these consultations and local feedback.
Lewis Wind Power project manager Claire Jones said: “The new consent will give Lewis Wind Power the option of using the very latest onshore wind turbines on the market, which we believe may be necessary to generate power at the cost required to compete for long-term contracts in a government-backed auction taking place this year.”
Contracts are awarded by the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) on a competitive basis, with onshore wind farms on Scotland’s ‘remote islands’ competing with other less established technologies including floating offshore wind, geothermal and wave power.
LCCC is managing the current Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction, allocation round 4, which opened in December.
Up to £285million per year is up for grabs, with the scheme annually providing £200million to offshore wind, £24m to floating offshore wind and £20million for tidal, as well as support for onshore wind and solar.
Ms Jones added: “I would like to thank the Stornoway Trust for their support in the development of this project over the last twenty years and the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for their constructive approach to the planning aspects of this development.
“The team at Lewis Wind Power will now focus efforts on supporting SSE to build a new electrical link to the island, obtain the other consents needed and further develop the routes to market.”
Energy regulator Ofgem has stated that it will support the delivery of a new 450MW cable if the Stornoway and nearby Uisenis projects are successful in the upcoming round.