Comhairle grant planning for 14 Tolsta wind turbines

Energy company 2020 Renewables Ltd have today been successful in securing consent for a 42MW wind farm from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Planning permission has been granted for the 14 turbine Druim Leathann Windfarm to the west of Tolsta on the Isle of Lewis. When constructed the development will generate sufficient electricity to power approximately 24,000 homes every year. An anemometer mast has already been installed at the site and has been gathering windspeed data for over a year.

The company have secured a grid connection date of April 2017 and will continue to progress the project towards construction.

The application has involved substantial consultation with the local community including the Community Council, the local Grazings Committees and the Stornoway Trust. 2020 Renewables are proposing significant community benefit that is estimated to be worth at least £294,000 per year to the local community and over £7 million during the lifetime of the wind farm.

The wind farm is expected to involve investment of £63 million in the Lewis economy and 70 jobs during construction as well as a number of full time jobs once the development is fully operational. It will also make a significant contribution to the Scottish and UK Government’s renewable targets.

2020 Renewables Ltd is a renewable energy developer with considerable experience in developing, constructing and operating onshore wind projects.

Speaking after the application was approved, 2020 Renewables’ Development Director Alasdair MacLeod said: “Obtaining consent today is obviously a significant milestone for us. In particular it provides us with the certainty we require to make our substantial grid payments that in turn are necessary to deliver the interconnector. We have worked extensively with the local community since the project’s inception and while many issues have been discussed and debated, the grid connection to the mainland has always been the key area of concern.

“We responded to the recent Government consultation on ‘support mechanisms for islands’ renewables projects’ and believe there is an opportunity to deliver further good news for the islands before the end of the year. Confirmation of the ‘use of system’ charges and the grid construction programme are eagerly awaited by all developers.

“I would like to thank the Comhairle for their support today. The Western Isles has a massive clean green energy potential. The timing of our consented project will help deliver jobs and investment to these islands as well making a contribution to the Scottish and UK

Governments renewable energy targets.”