Just when you thought it was all going smoothly, everything changes once more.
Our hydro scheme has been on hold for fast-approaching a year, whilst the UK government contemplates changes to the Feed-in-Tariff. The consultation is now over and we now hope for a June closure to the process. In the mean time, we thought out of courtesy that we should tell SSE that we won’t be exporting electricity onto their grid this year as planned because of the review. The response was along the lines of “that’s OK, we weren’t going to connect you until 2015 anyway.” This came as a bit of a shock. Lurking in the small print of our connection offer is the phrase “subject to any transmission connection works”. This little phrase now relates to a £300M sub-sea cable between Lewis and Ullapool. It’ll carry 450MW of renewable energy to export to the south. We just want 0.0002% of that capacity! We’re told that at the moment, the grid in Lewis and Harris is full. So that’s no more renewable energy from Lewis & Harris in the next three years! So much for those European targets on renewable energy.