WIND FARM CHARITY FACILITATES SERIES OF GOVERNMENT CONSULTATIONS OVER ISLANDS PLAN THIS WEEK
A group of representatives from Scottish Government will be in Lewis from Tuesday to Thursday this week for three days of public consultations, facilitated by community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust at the request of the Scottish Islands Federation.
The community events are part of a consultation programme for the new National Islands Plan and Island Communities Impact Assessments, to ensure that the National Islands Plan “responds truly to the wishes, desires and concerns of island communities”, in the words of government.
Children from Sgoil an Rubha and the Nicolson Institute are among those who will be giving their views, as well as friendship groups for the over-60s and other more formal organisations including community councils and community trusts.
Consultations will be in Point at Ionad Stoodie on Tuesday afternoon and evening, in Sandwick Hall on Wednesday evening and in Carloway Community Hall on Thursday afternoon and evening.
Donald John MacSween, Point and Sandwick Trust general manager, said:
“It’s important that groups in the islands have a voice and we put together a programme to make sure that, in the short time available, a lot of groups have an opportunity to feed into the consultation.”
Read more: Local News for Monday 22nd April 2019
EXTRA 4p PER ISLES HOUSEHOLD FOR 600MW INTERCONNECTOR
Constructing a 600MW interconnector to the Western Isles would cost consumers just 4p more per household per year than the 450MW option.
Western Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil continues to engage with Ofgem who recently announced their minded-to position of favouring a 450MW link over a 600MW.
As part of that engagement Mr MacNeil asked Ofgem for figures on what the two options would mean for household bills and learned that the 600MW would mean just 4p per household per year more than the 450MW option.
Mr MacNeil says favouring the smaller link would prevent the islands reaching their full renewables potential.
He said: “The figures I obtained from Ofgem show a 600MW link would add 43p to annual household bills and a 450MW would add 39p.
“It is clear that the 600MW option is much better value for money as it could boost the economy in a way the 450MW link could not.
‘An extra 4p would allow a link which had room for current proposals and future development; the potential to create more jobs; and capacity for the islands to grow this sector.
‘In this case it seems obvious that the best possible deal is the one which will bring the greatest long term positive economic impact at minimal additional cost - and that is the 600MW option.’
Ofgem are carrying out a consultation prior to a final decision and visited Lewis last week to meet developers and local agencies.
Read more: Local News for Thursday 18th April 2019