Approval of a 600MW interconnector to maximise renewables potential in the Western Isles is vital in the face of the climate emergency facing us all, says SNP MP Angus MacNeil.

Mr MacNeil says UK Government agency Ofgem must ‘do the right thing’ to support Scotland’s vision for action on climate change, as outlined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP Conference at the weekend.

Mr MacNeil said: “Nicola Sturgeon has declared a climate emergency.

“One of the best ways to combat climate change is clean energy and in the Hebrides we have the best wind resource in Europe.

“All that is holding us back is the go-ahead from Ofgem for a 600MW interconnector.  

"We need an interconnector which is of a size that will allow development to take place.

“Ofgem complain the 600MW option would cost bill payers 4p more per year than the 450MW option. In light of a climate emergency, this is a very small price to pay.  Ofgem shouldn’t be standing in the way.

“Wind energy will replace the use of fossil fuels and add to a green clean future.”

Mr MacNeil has responded to the consultation currently being held by Ofgem who will make their decision on the Final Needs Case for the Western Isles link this summer.  Mr MacNeil also pointed out several significant announcements made by the First Minister which will benefit many of his constituents: These include:

  • A new £150m scheme to assist first time buyers. First-time buyers will be offered loans of up to £25,000 to help them pay the deposits on their first properties. Buyers will be required to fund a minimum of 5% of the deposits in exchange. This scheme will open later this year.
  • Additional Best Start grants for low income families.  £250 when their child starts nursery and the same again when they start school. Applications are now open
  • https://www.gov.scot/policies/social-security/best-start-grant/