Another step forward has been made for the hopes of large-scale renewable energy generation on the Western Isles with the news that the European Commission has provided State Aid clearance for ‘Remote Island Wind’

Will Collins, Project Manager from Lewis Wind Power, which is developing the Stornoway and Uisenis Wind Farms, said: “This is another important milestone for Remote Island Wind and the UK Government is now able to proceed to allow projects on Lewis and other remote islands to compete in next year’s auction for long-term contracts for low carbon power.

“Those contracts are essential to underpin the hundreds of millions of £s of investment required to build the Uisenis and Stornoway Wind Farms, and also to ensure the projects are able to meet their share of the costs of the new interconnector to the mainland.

“Uisenis, Stornoway and Tolsta Wind Farm all meet the criteria to bid in the 2019 auction round, and over the next year we will be continuing our work to get our two projects ready to for what we expect to be a very tough competition.”

Meanwhile the Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Councillor Roddie Mackay said: “Confirmation that the European Commission has provided State Aid clearance for Remote Island Wind is a welcome and positive step forward. 

“This is a critical milestone for renewable energy projects in the Outer Hebrides that removes a key barrier to island projects being able to compete in the next Contracts for Difference Auction which we anticipate happening in early 2019. 

“The Comhairle has lobbied hard over the past number of years for the State Aid submission and it is gratifying to see the issue resolved and State Aid clearance granted.

“Over the next period we will continue to work closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy around final definition of Remote Island Wind and to ensure the best possible access to the 2019 Auction for projects in the Scottish Islands.”