The first government efforts to restore coastal wind farms after Ministers cancelled state subsidies for the technologies to work in opposition to the Western Isles of Scotland.
Edf energy says its plans for two large windfarms on the Isle of Lewis may need to usually reach heights to keep turbines out at sea, aroused the indignation of the inhabitants.
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The division of the French company for renewable energy, he said, may need a higher turbine for the project to be economically viable and to win millions of pounds in government subsidies.
Kerry McPhee, head of public relations at Lewis wind power, Fes-led joint venture behind the plan, told residents this week that one of the wind farms can be 200 meters (650 feet) high, with another 187 metres, 150 metres and 145 metres before.
That would be higher than the UK’s largest land-based turbines (193.5 meters) and to be at the same level with some of the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbines that are 60 metres taller than Buckingham Palace.
McPhee said the potential changes were designed to increase the chances of the project to win future auctions for low-carbon electricity and unlock the “substantial benefits for Lewis”.
The conservatives ended subsidies for onshore wind farms soon after coming to power in 2015, citing public opposition to them. However, last year the government announced onshore wind could qualify for subsidies if built on remote Islands where they could benefit society and create large-scale clean energy.
Claire Perry, the Minister of energy, also hinted at the return of equipment to the mainland, saying that she “stares” to support onshore wind farms in Scotland and Wales, not England.
Graph the height of wind power plants
EDF said it was likely but not guaranteed that fewer turbines will be required for the project Lewis than the original 36 planned. Larger turbines will require new applications for planning approval, allowing competitors the chance to Express their opinions.
However, critics are still not impressed. Four groups crofting complex sentences of ESO, arguing that the local population will benefit more if the wind resources of the island, drawn by the community turbine.
Kind Mackenzie, representative of farmers, said, “This will have a detrimental effect on tourism. The largest wind turbines in the UK? I don’t think it’s going to bring people.”
Calum MacDonald, former MP, who supports the expansion of community-based wind power, said turbine size was stunning.
EDF said that there will be more community wind farms without new power cable to the mainland. The estimated £780m of investment required for such an Interconnector would be justified only by producing electricity on the scale proposed by ESO.
Developers of wind energy fighting in auctions for government subsidies in Europe are increasingly dependent on scale to win contracts at the auction with the lowest price subsidies. Next auction in the UK is scheduled for spring 2019.