Offshore wind company set out local intentions
Northland Power, the Canadian renewables company that has bid for the licence to develop a windfarm off the west of Lewis, has signed strategic memoranda of understanding with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, UHI and Lews Castle College.
The Toronto-headquartered company has been proactive in developing relationships on the island and say the MOUs, which were included in their formal bids, underline its long-term approach to “developing and managing renewable energy assets to the benefit of local communities”.
Nigel Slater, Northland’s Managing Director, Development - Europe, said: “We are pleased to be active in the Western Isles and the north west of Scotland, exploring how the legacy of offshore wind projects can be felt across communities over the lifetime of the projects and beyond.
“The memoranda of understanding with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and these higher education institutions underline our commitment to work with them and others to put down the foundations of that legacy, and make some of Scotland’s most fragile rural places more socially and economically sustainable.”
Northland, formed in 1987, has a record of working in some of Canada’s most remote areas and building long-term relationships with local communities.
Mr Slater said that several sites in the ScotWind auction aligned closely with their development expertise, and if the bids are successful, the MOUs will support Northland’s wider ongoing engagement approach.
Discussions have taken place with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on supporting local projects and meeting wider local objective such as the alleviation of fuel poverty and progressing Green Hydrogen.
Cllr Roddie Mackay, leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “We warmly welcome Northland Power’s interest in the Hebridean ScotWind sites.
"They approached us early in the process and we have been impressed by their determination to deliver lasting benefit to communities affected by their proposed deployments.
"This reflects the determination of the Comhairle to secure enduring benefits from ScotWind and we have developed a comprehensive MoU with Northland Power”.