Opponents of large wind farm developments in Shetland have said they are
not surprised permission to increase the turbine height for the planned
Viking Energy development was granted by Scottish ministers.
Last week, Scottish ministers gave the developer permission to increase the
size of the turbines it wishes to use for the 450 megawatt development from
145 metres to 155 metres.
Should Viking Energy win subsidy funding under the Contracts for Difference
(CfD) mechanism and a £730 million subsea cable gets the final go-ahead,
construction of the wind farm could begin as early as next year.
Sustainable Shetland Frank Hay chairman said: “It comes as no surprise that
Scottish Ministers have approved the Viking Energy wind farm variation
application, given the Scottish Government obsession with wind power as a
major energy source, in spite of its obvious drawbacks.
“Once the SIC raised no objection it was always highly likely that it would
He added: “As usual, little attention has been paid to the concerns of
those local people who stand to be most affected by this.
“However, addressing the long list of conditions attached to the consent
could prove to be very expensive for Viking Energy and reduce the potential
profitability of the wind farm.
“It remains to be seen if the SIC planning department has the resources to
police the construction phase of the wind farm effectively, if it gets to
that stage. If not, who will pay for any extra resources required?
“Making a winning bid in the CfD auction remains a challenge for Viking
given the limited budget available and the obvious competition from
offshore projects in the auction.”