Western Isles MSP raises interconnector concern at First Minister’s Questions

editorial image

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan raised the issue of an interconnector to the Western Isles with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during this week’s session of First Minister’s Questions.

Earlier this week the regulator for the UK’s electricity market OFGEM announced that it was “minded to” reject proposals for a 600MW transmission link to the mainland in favour of a substantially smaller 450MW.

This would make existing projects less competitive while severely constraining the capacity available for new island renewables projects.

The First Minister said the Scottish Government believed a larger link than the 450MW proposed by OFGEM is required for the islands’ full renewables potential to be realised and assured the islands MSP that the Scottish Government would make every effort to secure the right outcome for the Western Isles.

Alasdair Allan MSP said: “The Western Isles have enormous renewables potential and there is a groundswell of desire for further development that would have significant socio-economic benefit to our communities.

“However, this week’s announcement from OFGEM rejecting proposals for a 600MW link is a serious hindrance to those ambitions.

“I am grateful to the First Minister for her support on this issue and for her commitment that the Scottish Government will make absolutely every effort in terms of lobbying OFGEM and the UK Government.”