THE Stornoway Trust, in welcoming the Scottish Government’s announcement to grant permission for the 36 turbine Stornoway Wind Farm Project, expresses it gratitude to the Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, and his officials for the manner in which the application has been determined.
Commenting on the news, Trust Chairman Murdo Murray stated: “The Stornoway Trust has long believed in the potential for a significant wind farm to be build on its land and this announcement marks a significant milestone on the way to achieving the Stornoway Trust renewable energy development aspirations.
“The development of this wind farm and wider renewables on the Western Isles are a once in a lifetime opportunity for our community. “It is now important that all the stakeholders work together with a spirit of unity and partnership to take this project forward to completion. Key to its success will be the establishment of our community fund making the 20% community ownership option secured in the Lease Agreement, a reality.
“We are also grateful to the Lewis Wind Power Board and those acting on their behalf for the close working relationship we have enjoyed and we are arranging to meet with the Board in the coming weeks to progress matters to the next stage.”
He added: “I would like to thank everyone involved with the project, including the developer, our community consultation officer and members of the public who have submitted their views to ensure the project that has been consented today accurately reflects the desires of the community.”
The project will cover a number of grazings bringing rental entitlement to around 650 crofters as well as providing community benefit and the prospect of work at the Arnish fabrication facility.
Stornoway Trust Factor Iain M Maciver, said: “It has been a long and difficult journey to get a decision which at last brings a greater degree of optimism and the chance to look forward to the possibility of our renewable energy resource playing an important part in the future development of our community. “The Government’s decision will enable us to consult with crofters and the wider community over the level of rental and community benefit which can be enjoyed over a lifetime of the project now that we know the number and location of the turbines now consented.” The Trust seeks to continue to work closely with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and other agencies to try and maximise the benefits renewable energy developments can deliver and will continue to support the Comhairle’s ongoing commendable efforts to secure an urgently required sub-sea connection to the mainland grid.