Local News for Monday 20th August 2018

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed news that Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has submitted its ‘Needs Case’ for the proposed 600MW Western Isles Radial Connector to energy regulator, OFGEM.

Commenting on the news, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Sustainable Development Committee, Cllr Donald Crichton, said:

‘This is excellent news for the islands and represents the culmination of many years of hard work by the Comhairle and its partners to achieve network reinforcement for the Western Isles. If approved, the Radial Connector will open the way for the development of a transformative Renewable Energy industry in the Western Isles.

‘But we cannot be presumptuous – SSEN have made clear that, if Stornoway Wind Farm and Uisenis Wind Farm do not secure Contracts for Difference in next year’s Price Support Incentive Auction at present generation volumes, there will be no investment case for network reinforcement and the Radial Connector project will be cancelled.

Cllr Crichton concluded:

Read more: Local News for Monday 20th August 2018

Local News for Friday 17th August 2018

The Comhairle has met with Baroness Sugg, UK Government Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, when she visited the Western Isles this week

Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said,
“We were pleased to be able to meet with Baroness Sugg as we were able to raise our concerns regarding Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd’s (HIAL) proposals for air traffic management arrangements for the region”.

‘We have ongoing concerns regarding the impact that their centralisation strategy will have on the local economy of the Western Isles – with a total of 17 highly paid jobs being lost from Stornoway and Benbecula airports, this will undoubtedly have a disproportionate impact for our community compared to mainland airports. We have been raising this as a major concern with the Scottish Government and HIAL since June 2017 and it appears that insufficient notice is being taken of the negative impact.

Read more: Local News for Friday 17th August 2018

Local News for Thursday 16th August 2018

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), operating as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission under licence, has recently submitted to the energy regulator, Ofgem, a Strategic Wider Works (SWW) ‘Final Needs Case’ for a subsea cable transmission link from Western Isles to the Scottish mainland.

The network reinforcement is required to enable renewable generation seeking to connect on Western Isles access to the GB market.

The Western Isles is home to some of Scotland’s greatest wind resource and following the growth in small-scale renewable electricity generation over recent years, the existing Western Isles electricity network is at full capacity meaning no further generation can connect without significant network reinforcements.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 16th August 2018

Local News for Wednesday 15th August 2018

The Labour Party in the Western Isles has called for an urgent statement from the Scottish Transport Minister on the crisis affecting Hebridean ferry routes.
The party’s prospective Parliamentary candidate, Alison MacCorquodale, said that last Wednesday’s breakdown of the ‘Loch Seaforth’ was “yet another warning sign that must not be ignored”.
She also called for full transparency on the terms of the SNP Government’s private finance deal which means that the ‘Loch Seaforth’ is owned by Lloyd’s Bank – the first ever CalMac ferry to be funded in this way. Ms MacCorquodale said: “It was this private funding model which drove the single ferry option for the Stornoway-Ullapool crossing against local wishes. Where does responsibility lie if the ‘Loch Seaforth’s’ problems recur or if she has to be withdrawn from service?

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 15th August 2018

Local News for Tuesday 14th August 2018

A week-long programme of events across Scotland, coordinated by Community Land Scotland (CLS) in partnership with the Scottish Government with activities and events running across the country is ongoing and runs until 19th August.
Showcasing projects in the Western Isles, community landowners are hosting a variety of tourism and heritage events and renewable energy project visits which will allow people to see more of what happens on community owned land.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 14th August 2018