UK Government contact Ofgem after MP’s push for interconnector

Western Isles MP, Angus MacNeil has campaigned for the 600MW option to be taken forward.
Western Isles MP, Angus MacNeil has campaigned for the 600MW option to be taken forward.

Senior Government officials have relayed concerns raised by Isles MP Angus MacNeil to the energy regulator Ofgem ahead of the final decision on the Western Isles interconnector.

Mr MacNeil is calling on Ofgem to do what is best for the environment, the consumer and the economy and approve the Needs Case for the construction of a 600MW link to the islands.

This comes after Ofgem said they were minded to favour a 450MW option despite revealing in a letter to Mr MacNeil that the 600MW option would cost the consumer just 4p extra per year.

Mr MacNeil said: “The UK Government have set an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by 2050 and releasing the full renewables potential of the Hebrides by constructing an adequate link will help towards that aim.

“I raised this with Business Secretary Greg Clark MP in Parliament recently who said he would ensure this was brought up with Ofgem. This week I received a letter from the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Chris Skidmore MP to confirm that this had been done. I hope Ofgem will listen and make the right decision later this summer.”

The letter from Mr Skidmore stated: “Clearly any decision on the Western Isles transmission link is important to you and your community and senior officials in my Department have made Ofgem fully aware of your concerns.”

Mr MacNeil has campaigned for the 600MW option to be taken forward for many years as have colleagues in the Scottish Government and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

He has repeatedly raised this directly with Ofgem and the UK Government.