MASSIVE community benefits are being promised as final plans are made to submit a planning application for a 42 turbine wind farm outside Stornoway.
At a meeting on Monday, Lewis Wind Power and Stornoway Trust paved the way for the community to take a 20 per cent share of the 150MW farm, on top of the benefits offered from rental and leasing arrangements.
This share will mean that up to 30MW out of 150MW will belong to the community and all the consenting, construction and grid connection risk will reside with Lewis Wind Power.
Commenting on the significant step towards what will be Scotland’s largest community owned wind farm, Charlie Nicolson, Chair of the Stornoway Trust said: “We are delighted that we will be partners with LWP in creating the largest community owned wind farm in Scotland. We have been impressed with the professionalism that has gone into the development of the Stornoway Wind Farm and believe that this route offers the least risk to the Trust. It also helps to strengthen the case for the delivery of the 450MW subsea interconnector that will hugely help community renewable projects, as well as the delivery of new employment opportunities in our community.”
Iain Maciver, Factor of the Stornoway Trust added that this was an important step forward for the project and the Stornoway community as a whole.
He said: “Boosted by the positive responses from the community consultations and crofter meetings, the Trust will now be liaising with crofter shareholders to help obtain the Scottish Land Courts endorsement which is required to secure this positive deal for the Trust and the crofters involved. The project offers a guaranteed community benefit, as well as an option to enjoy the profits from a 20 per cent share in the project, which can be acquired on very attractive terms once the turbines are operational.”
Ron Peddie, Project Director for Stornoway Wind Farm said this was an historic agreement: “I am pleased that we have concluded an agreement with the Stornoway Trust, which will deliver huge benefits to local residents and crofters. This is a historic agreement which will help create a sustainable economy for the Stornoway community for decades to come. The planning statement lays out the benefits that the Stornoway Wind Farm will bring to the Isle of Lewis. In addition to the 20 per cent ownership, we are committed to maximising benefits to the local community through leasing and rental commitments and maximising local sourcing for the construction of the wind turbines.”