April 21, 2008

Scottish Officials Reject Wind Farm Proposal

Plans by Lewis Wind Power to erect 181 wind turbines on the Western Isle of Scotland have been denied by government officials.

Many people in the local community hoped that the wind farm would have positive repercussions for citizens.

Scottish ministers, however, found that LWP's plans would interfere with Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area, which is designated under the European Commission (EC) Birds Directive and protected under the EC Habitats Directive.

LWP said that its recent plan for the area had given plenty of consideration to the special habitats.

Still, Energy Minister Jim Mather insisted that the Scottish government is committed to providing the area with new opportunities for clean energy.

"The Lewis Wind Farm would have significant adverse impacts on the Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area, which is designated due to its high value for rare and endangered birds," Mather said.

"This decision does not mean that there cannot be onshore wind farms in the Western Isles. I strongly believe the vast renewables potential needs to be exploited to ensure that the opportunities and benefits of new development can be shared across the country in an equitable fashion."

Officials at LWP said that Scotland had missed a great opportunity for new jobs and renewable energy resources.

"The local authority and all of Scotland's major business organizations fully recognized the huge benefits that this proposal would have delivered," said an LWP statement.

"The economic benefits included the creation of around 400 local jobs, 680 jobs across Scotland, during the construction process, as well as providing much needed investment to the Arnish Yard to make it a global competitor for other projects."

"Sadly all of this has been lost because of the government decision which, we believe, represents a huge missed opportunity."


On the Net:

Lewis Wind Farm

Lewis Wind Power Responds