Orkney plans community wind farm to pay for council services. While visiting Kirkwall for the election count last week, Shetland News editor Hans J Marter took the opportunity to speak to some of the main players in Orkney’s renewable energy industry to find out how our nearest neighbours are responding to the climate emergency. Orkney produces between 110 and 140 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable sources, Sweyn Johnston of Orkney Islands Council (OIC) confirms, but with carbon dioxide emissions of 192,500 tonnes annually (2017 figures) Orkney’s carbon footprint per person is still one of the highest in the UK, and is only slightly lower than Shetland’s at 235,900 tonnes (that’s without major industry and shipping). Johnston is the council’s strategic projects director and in that role he, and others, have been working on Orkney’s low carbon agenda for a number of years. Driven by the Orkney Needs Case, energy regulator Ofgem have approved plans by transmission company SSEN to upgrade Orkney’s at-capacity 50MW link to the national grid with a new 220MW transmission cable by 2024. However, this will only happen if renewable energy projects with a total capacity of at least 135MW have managed to gain planning consent by the end of 2021. Earlier this year, the OIC went public with plans for three 30MW community wind farms, each consisting of between five to seven very large turbines. The proposed sites are near Lyness, on the island of Hoy, on the uninhabited island of Faray, between Eday and Westray, as well as at Quanterness, just outside Kirkwall.
Shetland News 18th Dec 2019 read more »