A council-commissioned study into the potential value of a new electricity transmission link between Orkney and the Scottish Mainland, has shown the development could be worth at least £371 million to the Orkney economy.
This would rise to £807 million if the wave and tidal energy industry makes use of the cable too.
For Scotland the figures are a minimum of £606 million, rising to up to £1.48 billion.
The independent report – put together by specialists at global professional services firm GHD – also found that the three wind farms under ‘Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project’ are vital in securing a cable for Orkney.
Ofgem has conditionally approved a Need Case for the new cable, requiring 135MW of new projects to trigger the 220MW cable. With just 45MW of projects currently consented, the 86.4MW that could be generated by ‘Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project’ would make an essential contribution towards meeting this target.
Ofgem recently extended the deadline for the Needs Case conditions to be met by a year to December 2022, in light of delays experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report also draws attention to the fact that the Council projects could provide close to four times more benefit to the economy than privately owned developments, due to the fact that they would be publicly-owned – and therefore the income would remain in the county.
Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project encompasses three 28.8MW, six turbine, wind farm developments at Quanterness in St Ola, at Wee Fea in Hoy and on Faray in the North Isles.
Relatively few suitable sites remain in Orkney for commercial scale developments and the three sites were chosen following a rigorous selection process, taking account of factors including proximity to homes and designated areas.
You can access the full report from the Related Downloads section of this webpage.