In­no­va­tion needed to power ahead

The Oban Times - - News 11 -

MORE should be done to in­crease re­new­able energy in the Outer He­brides, ac­cord­ing to Western Isles coun­cil.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has set up a steer­ing group with Scot­tish Hy­dro Elec­tric power dis­tri­bu­tion to find new ways to ac­com­mo­date hy­dro schemes in the is­lands.

The group met for the first time last week to find ways to loosen the cur­rent net­work re­stric­tions to in­crease energy gen­er­a­tion.

Calum Iain MacIver, chair­man of the steer­ing group and the comhairle’s di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment, said: ‘There is huge po­ten­tial for re­new­able energy in the Outer He­brides.

‘The rich­ness of the re­source has seen many com­mu­ni­ties and in­di­vid­u­als in­vest­ing in re­new­able energy gen­er­a­tion. That in­vest­ment has taken the lo­cal grid to its ab­so­lute phys­i­cal ca­pac­ity.

‘Ma­jor trans­mis­sion re­in­force­ment, in due course, will al­le­vi­ate the sit­u­a­tion, but in the mean­time it is es­sen­tial in­no­va­tive ways are found to re­lease ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity to fa­cil­i­tate fur­ther com­mu­nity projects.’

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