Committee looks for answers on interconnector progress

The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee has today (Friday) written to Dermot Nolan, CEO of Ofgem, calling on him to address concerns of residents of the Outer Hebrides that potential renewables projects in the area are being undermined by ongoing delays to the delivery of national grid infrastructure to the islands.

It is estimated that around £2 billion could be invested in renewables projects in the Outer Hebrides, creating jobs and boosting the local economy, but the continued delays in establishing grid connections are holding such investment back.

Welcoming the Committee’s move, SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie said: “Scotland’s islands are home to vast energy potential, but in order to secure the jobs and investment that come with these resources, they need to be able to transmit their energy to the rest of Scotland and beyond.

“The years of delay in establishing the grid connections that are needed to the Outer Hebrides is a disgrace and is undermining the economy of the Western Isles.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil said: “The Scottish Government has been actively campaigning for interconnectors to our islands, but for too long there has been only delay after delay from Ofgem and Whitehall.

“Ofgem need to wake up to the damage that their delays and inaction in this area are causing and explain their failure to make progress.”