Energy giant SSE has been challenged to publish a timetable for new connections from Scotland's islands to the national grid.
It follows the publication of an independent report commissioned by the Scottish and UK governments on what action is needed to help deliver electricity grid connections necessary to unlock the green energy potential of the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland Islands. It finds: "The three island groups share significant challenges in getting grid connections off the drawing board" and may be "upwards of four years" away. In the Western Isles it says that SSE subsidiary, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE-T), is required to make a needs case to regulator Ofgem for the investment in a new interconnector (£700m plus)."
Angus Campbell, leader of the Western Isles Council said: "SHE-T holds the key to unlocking grid potential and cannot be allowed to shirk their responsibilities. They should immediately publish a timetable for connecting the Scottish Islands to the national grid."
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A spokeswoman for the SSE said the council had been represented at an Island Summit, where there was recognition that all parties needed to work together. "It is therefore disappointing to note that they believe that SHE-T is solely responsible for delays to the connection of island renewables, particularly as the Energy Minister said that developers needed more clarity on policy issues before committing to investing millions of pounds."