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Windfarm opponents to take on Viking  

A group opposing Europe’s largest onshore windfarm project was formed last week, more than four years after plans were first made public by Shetland Islands Council convener Sandy Cluness.

Sustainable Shetland will “first and foremost” oppose the Viking Energy windfarm proposal, the group announced yesterday (Sunday).

They have also pledged to fight any subsequent large scale development involving an interconnector cable and the export of green energy from Shetland to the UK mainland.

The group say their concerns about such large scale developments are both environmental and financial.

A first public meeting is expected to take place later this month to gauge whether there is any support for the new group.

Viking Energy, owned by the Shetland Charitable Trust and Scottish and Southern Energy, plan to build a 600MW windfarm in the central mainland of Shetland. The developers said they expected to lodge a planning application for the £1 billion project later this summer.

In a press statement issued last night, a spokesman for Sustainable Shetland said those who had attended an inaugural meeting were keen to emphasise that renewables must play a part in how we live in the future.

He continued: “However it is essential that these are fit for scale in the landscape and should be based on smaller community schemes, wind to heat etc, and a proactive energy conservation policy.

“With regard to industrial scale development we aim to provide a balanced information source, with a view to establishing exactly where public opinion in Shetland lies.

“An example of what we would be asking for is a scale model of the Viking Energy proposal for public display.”

The spokesman added: “Similarly we would envisage information gathering and tapping into whatever expertise is available with regard to community-based fit for scale projects.”

The group’s first meeting was attended by Billy Fox, Quarff; John Anderson, East Burrafirth; Robert Anderson, Tresta; Phil Smith, Hillswick; Rosa Steppanova, Tresta; James Mackenzie, Tresta; Jim Nicolson, Lonabrek, Aith; Jim T Nicolson, Upper Garths, Aith; Allen Fraser, Hamnavoe; Drew Anderson, Tingwall; Kevin Learmonth, Scalloway; Frank Hay, Voe; Joy Tait, Walls; Wendy Fraser, Tresta; Jim Fraser, Tresta; Jim Georgeson, Aith; Victor Gray, Aith; Oliver Cheyne, Aith; Jim Moncrieff, Aith, and Alex Grant, Whiteness.

Anyone interested to learn more about the group is asked to contact any of these individuals.

The Shetland News

3 March 2008

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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