This morning’s announcement on Contract for Difference awards by the Low Carbon Contracts Company on behalf of the UK Government is seen as the most significant milestone in efforts that have gone on for more than 20 years to secure an interconnector.
At present, most of the islands’ renewable energy potential is effectively stranded due to the absence of an interconnector. While two projects – Eisgen and Tolsta – won CfD in the last round, their capacity alone was insufficient to justify the interconnector. The 200MW allocation to Stornoway Wind Farm changes that.
It also opens up the prospect of additional grid capacity for community-led renewable energy projects.
The focus will now turn to Ofgem who are committed to a 600 MW interconnector if sufficient capacity exists to fill it. The objective is to have the interconnector in place by 2027.
SSE Transmission are currently consulting on plans for a new High Voltage Direct Current Converter Station and Gas at Arnish Point to facilitate the 81 km interconnector which will have a landfall at Dundonnell in Wester Ross.
Commenting on the CfD award, Logan Black, project manager at Lewis Wind Power, said: “Our success in the CfD auction round is a landmark moment for the Stornoway Wind Farm, and everyone at Lewis Wind Power is absolutely delighted with this outcome.
“Thanks to the CfD award, we are significantly closer to making this project a reality and delivering the multitude of socio-economic and environmental benefits we know the wind farm will provide to the local community and beyond.
“The last remaining major hurdle is the establishment of the 600MW interconnector, and we hope that our success in the CfD auction round will ensure that Lewis gets its grid connection by 2027.
“The future of the Stornoway Wind Farm development is exciting, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in securing this CfD award.”