Only a handful of people were at Whiteness and Weisdale hall at a morning
exhibition by Viking Energy where three large construction compounds that
will shortly be going for planning permission were outlined.
The largest of these, on the east side of the A970, near Sand Water, will
cover an area of around six hectares. When construction is concluded in
2024, it is planned to reinstate this compound, plus the other two at the
Scar Quilse, south of Voe, and at the Scord of Tresta, which will be
alongside the access track to turbines between Aith and Weisdale. These
smaller compounds will be about four hectares in area.
Plans for a fourth compound at the Halfway House at Sand Water were dropped.
All three proposed compounds are close to main roads with fast moving
traffic. Viking Energy is proposing appropriate signage and traffic
separation measures to minimise road hazards.
Archaeological and ecological clerks of works have been going through the
compound sites with a “fine tooth comb” prior to the applications being
lodged, according to Viking.
One of the visitors, chairman of Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community
Council, Andrew Archer said: “Our community council has already opposed the
wind farm on the basis that it would do too much damage to Shetland’s
“It is obviously good that Viking are keeping people informed, but on the
other hand the community council’s view would still be that it would be a
sad day if it goes ahead.
“It is interesting to see the details of the compounds but there is nothing
particularly concerning about the compounds themselves. It is the wind
turbines that will do a lot more visual damage.
“The idea that it could be taken away is obviously a good thing – obviously
better to have something that could be taken away than a nuclear power
The community council still has to take a view on the planning application
for the compounds, but “realistically” as “all the decisions about Viking
are with the Scottish Government, there is not an awful lot that the
community council can do about this,” Archer added.
The newly formed Viking Community Liaison Group will meet later this month
to hear the views of the four community councils within whose areas the
wind farm falls.
There will be representation from the crofting common grazings within the
area. The group is also intended to hear the concerns of those affected by
the construction of the farm and its associated road network.
The council has already approved a 2km access road for a 600MW electricity
converter station at Upper Kergord to be built by Scottish Hydro Electric
Transmission (Shet), which itself has been given outline planning permission.
Another 2.3km road is proposed between Sandwater and Kergord for
construction traffic, which will be upgraded and handed to the council at
cease of works.
Engineers have been assessing the state of public roads likely to be
affected by wind farm construction and a post-development survey will
indicate the amount of compensation Shetland Islands Council will receive
for damage to roads.
Contracts for construction of the wind farm, and for the massive wind
turbines themselves, will be awarded when and if Viking wins the Contract
for Difference (CfD) from the government.
This will guarantee an index-linked income per kilowatt of energy produced
for 15 years, introduced as part of the effort to help the renewables industry.
It is understood only a handful of civil construction companies and three
turbine manufacturers will be in the running for these contracts.
Other large scale renewable energy projects in Shetland hinge on Viking
winning the CfD, as regulator Ofgem has said it is “minded” to approve a
600MW subsea cable from Shetland to Caithness if the 457MW Viking Wind farm
Smaller scale works such as ground investigations for access tracks and
turbine sites, the construction of the Kergord track and preparation of the
compound sites are to start “by late June and continue beyond the end of
According to Viking, major efforts are being made to involve local
suppliers and construction companies in the plans of the principle contractors.
It is expected the wind farm, now that Shetland Charitable Trust has
largely disengaged from the project, will yield £2.2m annually to the
community as well as supply contracts and crofter and landowner
compensation. There will be an anticipated 140 construction and 30 full
Once the wind farm roads are built it is intended they will serve as access
for crofters and provide leisure opportunities, but access to general motor
traffic will be prohibited.
A meeting held at the Whiteness and Weisdale hall on Tuesday night heard
residents’ concerns about plans to build the South Nesting wind farm access
road from the east side rather than the A970 side, meaning heavy
construction traffic moving along the South Nesting single track road.
Resident Iain Malcolmson said that objections had been raised from the
start, but these had simply been ignored by Viking Energy.
Malcolmson said: “I said right from the very beginning that they should not
be taking machinery through Nesting. They have said it is not going to last
forever, we will just have to put up with it.”
Plans to shift the machinery during the night could be even worse owing to
noise when people are trying to sleep.
Malcolmson, who was attending the meeting as part of Nesting and Lunnasting
Community Council, said that the community council still had to take a
formal view on the proposal to build the access road from the east.