Eroded peat - Nesting The reduction in scale of the Viking Wind Farm from 150 turbines to 103 significantly reduced the impact it is likely to have on Shetland’s peat. There will no longer be turbines on areas of pristine peat bog in the Voe and Collafirth areas.
In the remaining area two-thirds of the peat that will be disturbed is currently degraded and exposed, meaning it is already emitting CO2.
As part of its HMP, Viking Energy will attempt to restore large areas of degraded peat and protect other areas from further erosion. This will be done in partnership with an independent advisory group and conservation bodies.
During construction most of the peat excavated for roads and turbine bases will be reused. Extensive measures will be taken to prevent hill peat drying out, including drainage control and the restoration and creation of small lochans to keep it waterlogged. Floating roads will also be used in places to minimise damage to peat.
The Scottish government said of Viking Energy's plans: "The HMP is far more ambitious and expansive than HMPs which have formed part of mitigation for previously consented windfarms, in total encompassing an area of some 12,800 hectares. [Scottish Natural Heritage] have welcomed the HMP and recognise that it offers the possibility of significant biodiversity benefits and is an excellent opportunity to explore various habitat management methods."