Brian Wilson, Minister for Energy, today unveiled ambitious plans led by two leading British companies to create Europe’s largest windfarm on the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland
If brought to fruition, the £600 million project, developed jointly by Amec and British Energy, will involve the construction of 300 turbines and generate 600 MW of power. The electricity generated will feed directly into the UK national grid.
Amec are undertaking a year long detailed feasibility study into cost, location and environmental impact as the first stage of the project.
‘This project has the potential to provide around one per cent of the UK’s electricity needs,’ said Mr Wilson. ‘It is particularly gratifying that the companies’ plans are based on the reopening of the former oil fabrication yard at Arnish Point, as a turbine and tower manufacturing plant. This emphasises the fact that manufacturing for renewables can become a very substantial sector of our economy.’
The Government expects to create a £1 billion market for renewable energy by 2010. The main driver for this will be the Renewables Obligation, which will require electricity suppliers to source ten per cent of their electricity from renewable sources.
In addition a £260 million support programme has been provided over the next three years of which £64 million is going towards wind energy.