Authorities in the Western Isles have given their backing to contentious plans for a wind farm in Lewis which has been the subject of a near decade-long battle. Councillors will be asked this week to endorse the Lewis Wind Power development, which would see some of the tallest onshore turbines in the UK raised across open moors and peatland west of Stornoway. The wind farm, which would feature up to 33 turbines ranging in height from 156m to 180m – appoximately the same height as St Paul’s Cathedral in London – was first proposed in 2011, and has been at the centre of legal action and controversy ever since. The application has been brought forward by Stornoway Wind Farm Limited, a subsidiary of Lewis Wind Power Limited, a joint venture between EDF Renewables and Wood. The original development was approved by ministers in 2012, but the amended proposal would involve turbines higher than those consented. Under what is known as a section 36 application, the developers are seeking the approval of the Scottish Government, which has in turn asked for the local authority’s view. It comes after the island’s existing community renewables projects were dealt a major financial blow following irreparable damage to a 20 mile-long subsea cable connecting the Western Isles to the Scottish mainland. The link failed without warning in October. While Scottish & Southern Energy Networks has approved a replacement cable, it is not expected to be in place until the end of August.
Scotsman 31st Jan 2021 read more »