World’s most productive wind farm gets green light on Shetland

A controversial wind farm has been given the all clear despite local opposition, and should produce enough energy to power 175 000 homes.

Cruach Mhor wind farm in Argyll, Scotland will be comprised of 103 turbines, reports the Guardian newspaper.

Wind turbine

The Viking windfarm is located on Shetland’s main island, where the onshore wind speeds are frequently the highest in Europe, and lead to earnings of £30m a year for islanders and Shetland's wealthy charitable trust.

The project has been cut in size by Fergus Ewing, the Scottish energy minister, from 127 turbines to 103, to protect safety for Scatsta airport near Sullom Voe oil terminal.

The joint venture between energy giant SSE and Viking Energy Ltd, owned by the trust, will have 370 MW capacity and is expected to generate enough energy for 175,000 homes – sixteen times the number of homes on Shetland.

One small turbine on a hill north of Lerwick, called Betsy, already holds a world record for its efficiency, reaching 59% of its potential output, thanks to the consistently powerful winds which sweep Shetland.

The developers said that meant the Viking scheme had the potential to be the most productive in the world.

Councillor Bill Manson, chairman of Viking Energy Partnership, said: "This is good news for Shetland, good news for Scotland and good news for the fight against climate change."

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