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'Smaller is better' on Western Isles wind farm  

A plan to build a major wind farm on Lewis should be allowed to go ahead, but on a much smaller scale, Western Isles councillors decided yesterday.

Scottish & Southern Energy had wanted to put up 125 turbines – each nearly 500ft tall – at Pairc in South Lochs, but later reduced this to 57 bigger and more powerful generators.

However, yesterday the council’s environment and protective services committee backed only 26 of these, saying the other 31 were in unsuitable sites.

A spokesman for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – Western Isles Council – said: “We are not saying it has to be 26. If they could resite some of these turbines, the council was open to that.”

The Scottish Government will make the decision, but the council’s view will be taken into account.

The committee’s decision may be discussed at a full council meeting later this month.

Two other applications to build wind farms on Lewis are being considered by the Scottish Government.

Archie Campbell, who chairs the sustainable development committee, said he hoped that the Western Isles, where the wind is significantly stronger than on the mainland, could become a renewable energy powerhouse, saying there was “enormous economic potential”.

“The big thing is whether we get an interconnector [power cable] to make us part of the large grid infrastructure of Britain,” Mr Campbell said.

“I think the islands should be connected to the mainland by a substantial interconnector that would look to the future and offshore wind, wave, tidal power and all the rest of it.”

By Ian Johnston
Environment Correspondent

The Scotsman

4 December 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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