Changes include the removal of 23 turbines and a reduction of around 80 hectares in the area disturbed by the completed wind farm.
The original application for a 150-turbine wind farm on the central mainland of Shetland was submitted in May 2009.
Now the developers – a partnership between Viking Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy – have submitted their revised proposal for consideration by the Scottish Government.
Bill Manson, chairman of the Viking Energy Partnership, outlined some of the reasons for the changes: ’The removal of 23 turbines will reduce the impact on residents, birds and archaeology. It also means we reduce the area occupied by the completed wind farm to 104 hectares – equivalent to only 0.56 per cent of the 18,700 hectares of the central mainland.
’We have also removed two operational access junctions to avoid possible disturbances for nearby residents and reduced the entire network of access roads by 14km, bringing the total to just more than 100km.’
The Viking wind farm could produce up to 457MW of renewable electricity and the total income from it is expected to be £930m across its lifetime. It has been estimated that the Shetland Charitable Trust, which aims to improve the quality of life for the people of Shetland, would receive around £23m each year from that money.
The wind farm would create 42 full-time jobs and a further 23 support roles, with more than 170 jobs created during construction.