Lewis Wind Power (LWP) intends to seek an additional planning consent for its proposed Stornoway Wind Farm to ensure it has the option of using the latest and most productive onshore wind turbines on the market.
The company is setting out its latest plans and seeking further feedback from local residents and businesses at a public exhibition in Stornoway Town Hall today (Tuesday, Feb 12th) and tomorrow.
The drop-in sessions will run from 12 noon until 7.30pm each day.
LWP believes the alternative design may be necessary to generate power at the cost required to compete for long-term contracts in a government-backed auction taking place later this year.
Contracts are awarded by National Grid on a competitive basis with onshore wind farms on Lewis and Shetland competing with major offshore wind developments in the North Sea.
Will Collins, Project Manager, Lewis Wind Power, said: “Since our existing consent was granted in 2015, turbine technology has moved on significantly, delivering substantial reductions in cost.
“We believe that we may need to have the option of this new design if we are to successfully compete against offshore wind for the long term government contracts required to support our investment in the project.”
The developer has made a number of changes to its plans since an initial public exhibition in Stornoway in October last year and is again seeking feedback from the local community.
Mr Collins added: “We have worked hard to develop a proposal that would use the very latest wind turbine technology and which minimises local impacts wherever possible.
“We have also made a number of changes to our plans in light of feedback from our last public exhibition and from consultees.
“For example, we are now looking at tip heights of 180m rather than 187m on the tallest turbines - very much in line with other onshore wind farms proposed on the Scottish mainland - and we have also moved the proposed sites for a number of turbines further away from the town of Stornoway in response to comments from local residents.
“We look forward to talking through our plans at the exhibition and we will then take some time to consider the questions and comment we receive along with feedback from bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage before submitting an application to the Scottish Government.
“We hope the community of the Western Isles will get behind our application, which we believe gives us a stronger chance of being able to deliver the project, with the success of Stornoway Wind Farm and our Uisenis development central to unlocking investment in the new interconnector with the mainland.”