Like many projects in the Western Isles, our Monan wind project is held up by grid issues. Anyone living in the isles will know about “the interconnector”. This is the new cable that will go under the Minch allowing energy generated in the isles to be exported to the mainland.
We are told that the Lewis and Harris electricity grid is full. There is no room for new generation. The interconnector will solve this issue – but not until 2015 at the earliest. There is still some risk that this 2015 date will slip. There’s a chicken and egg thing going on too. Large commercial developers don’t want to commit until the interconnector is definite. SSE don’t want to commit to installing the interconnector until enough commercial developers have signed up. This leaves community groups like ourselves stuck until the “big boys” sort it out.
Windflow Technologies, who we are working with on the project, have been in regular contact with SSE, trying to find an interim solution. Could we not just generate when its cold and there’s lots of demand? Surely, there must be some concession that can be made until the interconnector comes to allow generators on line, and start generating all that green energy both governments have commited to?