Orkney Islands Council is developing Orkney Community Wind Farms to harness our natural resources while bringing much needed funds into the island’s economy. Once in production, the wind farms would generate significant income and community benefit, empowering communities across Orkney while minimising cuts to essential services in the wake of the country’s economic crisis.
It is estimated that the projects could make up to £5.5 million profit per year. As Council owned, all profit would stay in the islands, enabling OIC to preserve and enhance key services that local people value and depend upon. In addition, the projects would bring in £432,000 per year for a ‘location-specific Community Benefit Fund’ for communities to drive transformational projects of their own.
The community wind farm project consists of three developments – Quanterness, Hoy and Faray. Quanterness and Hoy received planning permission in December 2021 while Faray’s planning permission was approved in December 2022.
Receiving planning permission played an essential role in the approval of a 220MW interconnector cable linking Orkney to the Scottish mainland. Each wind farm will generate around 30MW of electricity, providing 90MW in total to the new interconnector link. Once installed, the cable will also open up opportunity for the development of wave and tidal technologies which will bring additional benefits to Orkney including the creation of new jobs, upskilling our local workforce and investment from external sources.
Orkney Islands Council declared a climate emergency alongside the Scottish Government and other organisations in 2019 and is committed to reducing our carbon emissions. The wind farm project will contribute to Orkney’s Net Zero aspirations as well as towards Scotland’s target of deploying 20GW of onshore wind by 2030.
A final investment decision will be made in the second half of 2024 by Elected Members. The Strategic Projects team will submit a business case with reports that will include the most up-to-date financial models, ensuring the projects viability.
Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), who will be installing the cable, have indicated that the interconnector link is scheduled to go live in June 2028 and this is the timeline we are working with. If councillors approve the project and the cable gets installed on time, Quanterness and Hoy will begin operation in June 2028 and Faray will become operational in 2029/30.
To read the latest news, download related documents and view visualisations of the proposed wind farms, visit www.orkneywindfarms.co.uk.
You can also email the projects team at firstname.lastname@example.org.