Labour candidate calls for a “united voice” on interconnector plan

Western Isles Parliamentary Labour Candidate, Alison MacCorquodale, says she does not believe a 600MW link would be under-utilised gvien the many community groups who have already developed successful wind farm projects.
Western Isles Parliamentary Labour Candidate, Alison MacCorquodale, says she does not believe a 600MW link would be under-utilised gvien the many community groups who have already developed successful wind farm projects.

Western Isles Parliamentary Labour candidate, Alison MacCorquodale has called for “a united voice” from the Western Isles in response to the interconnector consultation launched by Ofgem, the energy regulator.

She said that although Ofgem’s initial view that a 600MW link could not be justified on the basis of existing projects, the consultation offered the opportunity to make the case and back it up with hard evidence.

Ms MacCorquodale said: “I don’t believe that a 600MW link would be significantly under-utilised.

“In addition to the major proposed developments, we have a vibrant community sector in the Western Isles and many groups have already developed successful wind farm projects.

“The reason that more community projects have not come forward is because of the uncertainty around the interconnector and the considerable risk and financial outlay associated with speculative plans.

“Ofgem must also consider the potential for marine renewable generation which at some point is very likely to yield results with the Western Isles a prime location. It would be foolish not to plan for future potential.

“SSEN are still working to bring down the costs associated with the interconnector, so it would be short-sighted of Ofgem to close the door at this stage. The link to the Western Isles must allow our local communities to capitalise on the investment. Approval for only 450MW will not do this.

“The consultation period allows for these arguments to be made with renewed force and focus and everyone should now work together to make sure that the Western Isles speaks with a united voice”.