Viking wind farm approved


Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has today granted consent for the Viking wind farm on Shetland, which will power more than 175,000 homes and bring around £30 million annual income for the local community.

The 370 MW wind farm, the third biggest in Scotland, will be able to power more than sixteen times the number of households on Shetland.

Viking wind farm is expected to bring an estimated £566 million of capital expenditure, and an annual income of £30 million per year to the Islands including £20 million to the Shetland Charitable Trust which will support projects such as community enterprises, community energy, skills and training, as well as around 140 jobs during the five years of construction and around 34 operational jobs. Scottish Ministers expect the developer to maximise the potential for local employment and use of local businesses.

The wind farm will allow the construction of an interconnector allowing Shetland to export electricity to the mainland, opening up further opportunities for the Islands to benefit from renewables, including community schemes and marine renewables.

The application was for 127 wind turbines, Ministers have withheld consent for 24 turbines in the northern Delting Parish section of the wind farm which would impact on Scatsta Airports instrument flight procedures.

The wind farm is the 50th renewable energy project consented by Scottish Ministers since May 2007.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“This wind farm will bring enormous benefits to the people of Shetland, generating more than £30 million annual income for the entire Shetland community. Around £20 million of that will go directly to the Shetland Charitable Trust.

“The development will create jobs and bring income, and makes the case for an interconnector to connect Shetland for the first time to the National Grid -  paving the way   for more exports and further renewable energy opportunities for the Islands, including community projects and marine energy developments.

“The development includes an extensive habitat management plan covering around 12,800 acres, which will restore peatland and offer benefits to a whole range of species and habitats.

“Last week, figures showed Scotland exceeded our ambitious renewable electricity targets for 2011, with more than a third of our electricity demand coming from renewables.

“Developments like Viking will help us meet our 2020 target, and will make a huge contribution to our target of 500MW from community and locally-owned renewable energy by 2020, while benefiting communities, cutting emissions, and helping to keep energy bills lower.”

Related Information

  • Viking Energy, is a partnership between SSE Viking Ltd (a subsidiary of SSE) and Viking Energy Ltd, a company representing the renewable energy interests of Shetlands Islands Council and 90 per cent owned by the Shetland Charitable Trust.
  • In May 2009, Viking Energy Partnership applied for consent to construct and operate Viking wind farm. The original development consisted of 150 turbines. To satisfy concerns of statutory consultees including Scottish National Heritage, the Civil Aviation Authority, SEPA, Historic Scotland and Serco Aviation Defence and Nuclear, the operators of Scatsta Airport, the company submitted Supplementary Environment Information in October 2010 which included reducing the size of the proposed wind farm to 127 turbines with a ground to blade tip height not exceeding 145 metres. The application has received 2772 objections and 1115 support.
  • The Scottish Government has now determined 65 energy applications, including approval for 50 new renewable 19 Hydro, 26 Onshore wind, 1 Offshore wind and 4 Wave & Tidal and 15 non-renewable projects, since May 2007. The Scottish Government is currently considering another 47 applications of more than 5 Gigawatts of capacity, including 39 renewables: 2 Hydro, 3 Biomass ,32 Onshore wind, 1 wave and 1 offshore wind.
  • Information on latest figures for Scotland’s energy targets.