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Lewis wind farm backer pulls out over cable delay

The backer of plans for the largest wind farm on Lewis in the Western Isles has pulled out of the project.

GDF blamed delays in laying a subsea cable needed to carry electricity generated on the isles to the mainland.

The French energy giant was to invest in the planned 39-turbine scheme on Lewis’ Eisgein Estate.

GDF, along with other renewable energy developers, had been expected to contribute to the cost of the estimated £780m cable.

Work to lay the cable has been dogged by delays and rising costs.

Scottish Hydro-Electric Transmission Ltd, a division of SSE, is expected to complete work on the interconnector in 2019.

The date had been pushed back from 2015 because of delays in assessing the business case for the cable.

The interconnector would export electricity to the mainland for distribution.

It would stretch about 50 miles (80km) from Gravir on Lewis to Ullapool on the north-west coast of mainland Scotland.

There have been discussions about subsea cables linking islands energy projects with the mainland since 2001.