Lewis Wind Power (LWP) will be holding a public exhibition on potential changes it may seek to make to its existing plans for the Stornoway Wind Farm project in Stornoway Town Hall on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th October.
The company announced in April that it was exploring a number of possible changes to the wind farm to ensure that it looks at all the options that could boost its competitiveness in future auctions for government-backed support for renewable energy projects.
LWP is assessing the potential to increase tip heights from 145 metres to 155 metres on the turbines closest to Stornoway and up to 187m in the parts of the wind farm further away from the town.
Speaking on behalf of Lewis Wind Power, Darren Cuming said:“Wind farms on the Western Isles can only proceed if they successfully bid for a long-term contract for power backed by the UK Government, known as a ‘Contract for Difference’, which pays a guaranteed price per unit of power over 15 years.
“These contracts are awarded through a competitive auction process, with island projects required to bid against each other and other technologies including offshore wind. The huge reductions in costs delivered by offshore wind in recent years means that only the most cost-effective projects can go ahead.
“We therefore want to assess all the options that could boost the competitiveness of the two projects, including the use of larger turbines. The changes we are looking at are very much in line with the next generation of onshore wind farms in planning on the Scottish mainland.
“We want to make sure everyone locally has the chance to find out more about these possible changes and the reasons we are looking at them, and to have the chance to put over their questions and comments.”
The ‘drop in’ exhibition will set out the changes LWP is considering along with wider information on the project, and will also include the chance to view interactive 3D visual software which shows modelling of the project from different angles and viewpoints.
LWP staff will be on hand to answer queries and attendees will be able to leave written feedback on the possible changes. The feedback will be assessed as part of the company’s consideration of whether to seek consent for a revised layout and on the precise nature of any changes.
If LWP does decide to pursue the potential revisions further then it would develop more detail and consult on these in depth before submitting any application for a consent which would be considered by the Scottish Government.
Mr Cuming concluded: “We’re looking forward to speaking to local people about these potential changes and getting their views on how we give the wind farm the best possible chance of success in next year’s auction - and to finally delivering the many economic and employment benefits that Lewis Wind Power’s two projects would bring to the Western Isles."