New plans emerge for windfarms on Lewis

Details of two new wind farm developments proposed for sites in Lewis have emerged in a letter sent from the developer RWE Renewables UK Onshore Ltd to a local community council.​
Nick Taylor, RWE’s Senior Stakeholder ManagerNick Taylor, RWE’s Senior Stakeholder Manager
Nick Taylor, RWE’s Senior Stakeholder Manager

In his letter to Breasclete Community Council, Nick Taylor, RWE’s Senior Stakeholder Manager, said that sites at Grimshader and Heastabhal, 16 kilometres apart, were being proposed for the wind farms, which would have a capacity of over 50 megawatts each, making them very substantial in size.

Mr Taylor confirmed in his letter that the company has submitted a request for a ‘Scoping Opinion’ to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit.

He further stated that Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and other consultees, including community councils, would have the opportunity “to provide early comment and feedback” on the outline proposals.

One of the potential major stumbling blocks in the proposals will be that of public opinion, with the expectation among some that once an inter-connector is in place the focus will be on community schemes.

Jean Gaillard, RWE’s Grimshader & Heastabhal Development Project Manager, said: “RWE, having already collected two years of ornithological data, is asking for feedback from consultees on a preliminary design before starting the detailed design phase for these sites.

“This later design phase will take into account feedback received during the scoping exercise and will seek to incorporate feedback from consultees, including; Historic Environment Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and NatureScot.

“A public consultation process, including holding public exhibitions in the local area for each site will be announced shortly and will be advertised in the local press as well as through letters to local residents.

“RWE puts great importance on the feedback received from the local community during the design period and believes this leads to better plans for the projects.”

Secretary to Breasclete Community Council, Jacqui Ferguson, has confirmed that the outline proposals in the letter from RWE will be considered at their next meeting on 14 February, and that she would be raising the matter at this week’s meeting of Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh.