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More than 20 years after the great dance of would-be pylons and windmills began, there's another change of partner for the seemingly ever-distant Stornoway wind farm project.

EDF Renewables UK says it has entered into a partnership with Ireland’s leading energy company, ESB, to "progress and deliver Stornoway wind farm".

The Lewis Wind Power partnership will see ESB taking over the 50:50 joint venture share from Wood (John Wood Group plc).

ESB and EDF Renewables are already joint partners in the development of the 450MW Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind farm, located in the Firth of Forth and due to be completed next year.

EDF Renewables (formerly EDF Renouvelables) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the French utility EDF Group. Électricité de France S.A., commonly known as EDF, is a French multinational electric utility company owned by the French state.

The partnership takeover has reaffirmed Lewis Wind Power’s commitment to delivering Stornoway wind farm and "helping the country to meet its net zero targets and delivering significant benefits to the local community throughout the lifespan of the project."

Stornoway wind farm was granted planning consent in 2022 for a 36-turbine wind farm with a capacity of up to 200MW, located to the west of Stornoway. The project would generate enough low carbon electricity to power approximately 115,000 homes*.

Lewis Wind Power has been working with the Stornoway Trust and the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to progress renewable energy development on Lewis since 2003.  To date the company has invested some £12m in the development of the Stornoway Wind Farm Project.

In addition to opening up an office on the island in 2016 with a dedicated stakeholder manager positioned, Lewis Wind Power has annual sponsorship funds set up for local projects and initiatives.

They say that once the wind farm is operational, nearly £1million will be available annually through a dedicated Community Benefit Fund.

Over the next 12 to 24 months, bird surveys will begin to be carried out as Lewis Wind Power progresses towards preparing the site for construction.

Darren Cuming, Head of Onshore Development for EDF Renewables, commented: “We are delighted to welcome ESB onboard as our new joint venture partners to Lewis Wind Power.

"We work with them on other projects, including Neart na Gaoithe, our offshore wind farm, currently under construction in the Firth of Forth. We are fully committed to developing Stornoway wind farm and bringing significant benefits to the local economy and the communities on the island.

“This project has been ongoing for some time, and we are pressing ahead with development. The local community will start to see activity ramping up over the next few years as we progress to the construction phase of the wind farm. We continue to work with the council and with Stornoway Trust to build the wind farm and bring the associated benefits to the local economy.”

Commenting, David Farrell, Head of Onshore Development at ESB, said: “We are delighted to announce our decision to join EDF Renewables as a partner in Lewis Wind Power. ESB has an ambition to become a Net Zero generator across UK and Ireland by 2040, and is committed to sustainable development that respects the local environment and communities. A key influence in our decision to partner with EDF on this project is our companies’ shared values and the local communities support for this wind farm development. Scotland is very progressive in its policies to address climate change and ESB is delighted to continue to invest in renewable energy in Scotland through this acquisition."