Viking Energy seeks update to turbine technology

Published on September 26th 2018

Impression of the difference between the consented 145m tip height and the proposed 155m maximum. Impression of the difference between the consented 145m tip height and the proposed 155m maximum.

Wind farm developer Viking Energy is applying to the Scottish Government to make a minor alteration to the consented project, in order to be able to install the latest most efficient turbines on the market.

The variation to the current planning consent seeks an increase in maximum tip height up to 10 metres, from 145m to 155m with a corresponding increase in the turbine hub height from 90 to 95m.

The change is intended to ensure the 103-turbine wind farm keeps up with the latest turbine technology, which has advanced considerably since the project launched more than 10 years ago.

Use of powerful turbines of 4 MegaWatts (MW) or more would enable Viking Energy to increase its generation of renewable electricity to a level closer to its consented capacity of 457MW, increasing the potential income to Shetland Charitable Trust, which owns 45% of the project.

A public exhibition of the plans is to be held on Tuesday 2nd October at Voe Public Hall. An application for a variation of Viking Energy’s Section 36 consent will then be submitted to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit in Glasgow.

Viking Energy aims to bid into the 2019 round of the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference auction which seeks to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change by providing power contracts at lowest cost for renewable energy generation.

Viking Energy Project Director Ian Innes said: “It’s unfortunate that the wind farm has been held up for a number of years. Turbine technology has advanced considerably since the project was consented so, naturally, the project wishes to buy and install the best turbines on the market to maximise its output of clean electricity.

“Viking is now competing against a new generation of wind farms, including those offshore, where tip heights of 200m or more are now available.”

Viking Energy applied in 2010 to build 127 turbines but 24 were removed by the Scottish Ministers when approving the project. The wind farm developer stated at the time it would consider using more advanced turbines to make up the short fall in electricity generation if they became available on the market.

Viking Energy said today its current plan is to begin construction in 2020 with a view to completing the wind farm and connecting it to the proposed 600MW interconnector to the National Grid in 2024.

  • The information boards from the public exhibition on 2nd October are available for download here.

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