12 Nov 2010 09:11:03
SSE shelves Western Isles renewable energy connection
Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has shelved its plans to connect wind farms on the Western Isles to the main power grid.
The plans would have allowed the Scottish region to benefit from selling the renewable energy produced from both its wind and tidal resources to the mainland.
SSE told The Herald that generators on the island were not willing to sign up for the charges set by the National Grid which would have allowed them to go ahead with the project.
Ian Marchant, chief executive of the energy company, told the newspaper: "No wind farm developer will commit so there is no guarantee to build the link."
Authorities in the Western Isles have now called on the UK government to fund the project and have threatened to consult Europe on the issue, which it claims amounts to discrimination against the region.
Council leader Angus Campbell said that the Western Isles' resources are needed if renewable energy targets are to be met.
Scotland recently raised its renewable energy target from 50 percent to 80 percent by the year 2020.
"Tapping that resource is clearly in the national interest and to require private developers to underwrite the entire cost of the necessary network upgrades is simply wrong," Mr Campbell said.