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Yell folk welcome wind farm plans  

Credit:  Written by Hans J Marter | Shetland News | 23 April 2015 | www.shetnews.co.uk ~~

Renewable energy firm Peel Energy hopes to have a 70 megawatt wind farm exporting electricity from the Shetland island of Yell within five years.

The Manchester-based company said they were confident a £600 million interconnector would be built by then to transport power from Shetland to the UK mainland.

Peel Energy recently bought the interests in the Beaw Field wind farm from German firm Enertrag, who pulled out of the project last year.

After a two day consultation on the island, development manager Bernadette Barry said they had been encouraged by the response from local people.

Unlike the experience of the 103 turbine Viking wind farm to be built on Shetland ‘s mainland, which has aroused bitter opposition, the Yell project appears to have been welcomed by residents.

Barry said they were considering two ways of generating the capacity of 70 megawatts by either using 20 very large turbines measuring 145 metres in height, or up to 28 slightly smaller turbines.

She added that they were confident there would be an agreement on building an interconnector within the next 12 months.

More than 100 local people visited the two public exhibitions held in Burravoe and Mid Yell where three company representatives were on hand to answer questions.

Barry said the company wanted to work with the community on the project design and the best way of providing community benefit.

She said up to £375,000 will be up for grabs every year for community councils and other community groups.

The company is also encouraging islanders to invest directly in the project and receive a share of the profits.

“We have been made very welcome in Yell and the responses from people I have been speaking to over the last two days have broadly been very positive,” Barry said.

“People seem to be very much in favour of the project, and we have received some really helpful feed-back on the design options.

“We will be able to feed that back into the process and will come back at the end of the year with a more fixed design.”

She added that the company believed it was “up to the communities to decide how the fund or scheme goes ahead”.

To assist this process, they will be promoting community dialogue and provide any guidance and help based on similar schemes they have operated in the past.

Barry said that some aspects of building a wind farm on Yell would be easier than on the mainland as turbines could be shipped in directly to the island or nearby Sullom Voe.

Unst resident Gordon Thomson said the proposed wind farm appeared to be well sited within the topography of the Burravoe Estate.

Source:  Written by Hans J Marter | Shetland News | 23 April 2015 | www.shetnews.co.uk

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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