Frequently Asked Questions
About The Developer
Statkraft is Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, solar power, gas-fired power and supplies district heating. Statkraft is a global company in energy market operations, and has 4000 employees in 16 countries.
Over the last 10 years, Statkraft have invested over £200 million in renewable energy infrastructure in Scotland. Over £1.6 million has been distributed to communities near their wind farms through local Community Benefit Funds in Scotland.
Read more at www.statkraft.co.uk/about-statkraft
About Energy Isles Limited
Energy Isles is a consortium of over fifty mainly Shetland-based businesses that initiated the project, with a strong desire to retain maximum benefits of Shetland's emerging new renewable energy sector within the isles.
The companies in the consortium are from a wide variety of existing sectors, including crofting, farming, fishing, aquaculture, transport, renewables and support services. Several are based in the North Isles.
Read more at www.energyisles.co.uk
Has Energy Isles sold this project to Statkraft?
The deal reached between Statkraft and Energy Isles is a project acquisition - with some elements of financial interest and control retained by Energy Isles Limited’s local shareholders.
The shareholders of Energy Isles Limited were clear from an early stage that there would come a time when the right development partner would have to be brought on board to help progress the project.
As a consortium of small to medium sized businesses, the input and expertise of a large development partner was needed to be able to take this project forward into construction.
For more information on Energy Isles Limited, visit www.energyisles.co.uk
Does Statkraft have any other projects in the area?
Statkraft doesn't have any other projects in Shetland, but does have a number of projects across Scotland.
In the Highlands, we currently have two projects in development, one in Caithness, and one in Sutherland.
Will there be a community benefit fund?
Yes. Since its early beginnings, the developers of this project have been committed to a community benefit fund. Statkraft is committed to continuing this pledge, and the project will deliver £5,000 per MW installed, as per Scottish Government best practice guidance.
The exact amount of the fund will depend on the type of wind turbines installed, but as a guide, if 23 wind turbines were built, with an installed capacity of 160MW, this would deliver a fund of £800,000 per year for the three community council areas that make up the North Isles; or £24 million over the 30 year life of the project.
Should the project be consented, we will support and facilitate these communities to establish and lead on a fund delivery model that addresses the needs most important to them.
This would enable much needed local investment, and with careful management it is often possible to significantly increase the value of the fund by accessing match funding opportunities.
Do you have ideas or suggestions for the fund? You can submit them here.
What economic benefit will the wind farm bring to Shetland, or Scotland?
The renewable energy sector in Scotland is now a significant contributor to the local, regional and national economy. Should this project be consented there are very clear economic benefits to be delivered during the construction and operational phases of the project.
In addition to the significant investment during the construction period, four local jobs are expected to be required throughout the operating period.
Our aim is to continue working with local suppliers as much as possible. Two supplier events in Lerwick and Yell saw over 100 attendees. We are involved with the Shetland Renewables Business Network and will work with Train Shetland to maximise benefits for local suppliers.
If you are a local supplier or would like to recommend a supplier for our database, you can do so here.
How will you work with local suppliers?
By using the local workforce where possible, the wind farm can have a direct and positive effect on Shetland's economy. We are committed to working with local suppliers and we have already held two Supplier Day events, the first in Lerwick and the second in Yell. These events were held jointly with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Shetland Renewable Business Network.
If you are a local supplier, we'd like to hear from you so we can add you to our local supplier register. Please contact us.
About the Project
- reduce the adverse impacts to the Shetland National Scenic Area (NSA);
- reduce peat disturbance; and
- reduce impact on ornithology.
What height will the turbines be?
Within the planning application submitted in May 2019 the project was for 29 turbines at 200m height. We announced in February 2020 that six turbines have been removed from the proposal, and a further six turbines had been reduced in height from 200m to 180m.
The key improvements from these changes have been to:
Although the actual model of turbine has yet to be selected, we know that the taller turbines are, the more efficient they are; maximising the amount of electricity generated.
Wind turbine technology is rapidly evolving, and there are many examples of new projects proposing tip heights of 200 metres across Scotland. Proposing the tallest tip height possible enables Energy Isles to take advantage of the latest technology if consent is granted.
The project has significantly reduced in size over the past six years, from 63 to 23 turbines. Watch the illustrated project timeline showing the evolution of the project since 2012.
For how many years will the wind farm operate?
We have applied for permission to operate the wind farm for 30 years.
How much electricity will the wind farm generate?
Shetlanders already know how windy the Isles are!
We think this site might have the highest wind speeds of any wind farm site in the UK.
Based on 23 turbines and approximately 160MW installed, we estimate the wind farm could power the equivalent of around 185,000 homes per year*.
How will you protect the peat on site?
The Scottish Government Carbon Calculator is a tool to determine the carbon impact of wind farm developments in Scotland, and shows that the Energy Isles project will pay back all the carbon used, including effects to peat, in around two years.
The revised layout we presented at our event in February 2020 has been designed to reduce the volume of peat disturbance.
SEPA have not objected to the proposal and we are working closely with SNH to provide further information.
Will the turbines require lights?
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) require some wind turbines to be lit. We are in consultation with the CAA to determine how the lighting requirements can be minimised, and currently have four options we are exploring with them.
The lighting is designed to have the least impact on its surroundings as possible. Night time views are also assessed as part of the visual impact assessments, and the images generated for this are a worst-case scenario that show every turbine lit.
How will construction traffic access the wind farm?
General day to day traffic will use the existing ferry service.
For delivery of turbine components, the plan is to transport oversize components on sea-going vessels at Sullom Voe or Greenhead Base and transfer them using a barge to Yell.
We think there could be potential to use the Ulsta port. If this is possible our intention would be to land the barge during the hours the Ferry Service is not running i.e. between 11pm and 6am.
Will there be any shadow flicker from the wind turbines?
Shadow flicker modelling has been undertaken and is reported within the planning application documents submitted with the EIAR.
We are pleased that the revised layout has removed any potential for shadow flicker effects on nearby homes.
Will there be a noise impact from the wind turbines?
We have worked with Shetland Islands Council and Enviromental Health Officers to ensure the wind farm comfortably complies with strict, legally enforceable noise limits.
Detailed noise studies have been undertaken to model the predicted noise and these are included in the EIAR (available at www.energyisles.co.uk) which is submitted as part of the planning application.
Should the project be found to exceed noise limits during operation, we would be required to rectify this.
What is the impact on wildIife?
We take every possible step throughout the development process to assess and minimise any impact on wildlife.
In February 2020 we announced the removal of six turbines to the north and north-west of the site, which reduces impact on birds by allowing uninterrupted access from the lochans in the centre of the site, to the coast.
The methodology for all studies and assessments have been agreed by statutory consultees such as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and following best practice guidance.
The studies showing impacts on wildlife are published as part of our planning application. These are available at www.energyisles.co.uk/documents