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Firm to proceed with Shetland wind farm 

Words: Roger Milne
Renewable wind energy / Shutterstock 155706680

Power company SSE Renewables has made the final investment decision to proceed with the 103-turbine project on a site in Shetland. 

When complete, it will have an output of 443 megawatts, making it biggest single land-based array in the UK.

The scheme will occupy 10,424 hectares of central mainland Shetland, north of Lerwick, about 8,575 hectares of which is subject to crofting tenure.

The wind farm project is wholly owned by SSE Renewables and is being developed with the partnership of the local community and Shetland Islands Council.

SSE Renewables will now invest an estimated £580 million in the construction and delivery of the wind farm and associated infrastructure. Construction should start late this summer and is expected to be completed in early 2024.

The project, known as the Viking wind farm, received planning consent from Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing in April 2012, but the decision was challenged through the courts unsuccessfully by anti-wind farm campaigners.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “This is excellent news for Shetland, and for Scotland’s renewable energy and climate change ambitions. The Viking wind farm project is also a great symbol for the green recovery that the government is determined to foster and encourage, as we move through and beyond the current coronavirus pandemic.

“This decision is of sufficient scale to act as the trigger to unlock the much-anticipated major investment in a high-voltage connection from Shetland to mainland Scotland, subject to a final decision by Ofgem, which we expect shortly.”

Image credit Shutterstock