Community-owned windfarms on some of Scotland’s remotest islands are likely to gain from a new deal to buy their electricity at a higher price, Ed Davey, the energy and climate secretary, has said.
Davey is to introduce a guaranteed price for electricity generated by onshore windfarms in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles after hearing pleas from developers and islanders for help with the higher costs of building windfarms and selling power from outlying areas.
The energy secretary, announcing the measure at the Liberal Democrat party’s annual conference in Glasgow on Sunday, believes the higher price will be a significant incentive to wind power developers and will particularly help island communities build their own small-scale windfarms.
Before this, the Scottish government’s energy minister, Fergus Ewing, had made a competing announcement that he had given consent to the first phase of what could be Europe’s largest tidal project.
Ewing said the developers MayGen had permission to build a nine-megawatt demonstration project of up to six tidal turbines in the Pentland Firth off Orkney. Eventually MayGen could install an 86mw array of tidal machines.
Davey said: “It’s possible that we might see a big increase in community windfarms because of the way that the Scottish islands develop their energy resources.”