Call for power project to start
Long-awaited work on the proposed Western Isles Radial Connector should start immediately, according to the shadow secretary of state for Scotland, Lesley Laird.
The interconnector would export wind farm-generated electricity from the Western Isles to mainland Scotland.
Commitments to build the interconnector were made in the Conservative manifesto, but no start date has yet been given.
Scottish Labour MP Ms Laird has written to Scottish Secretary David Mundell urging him to bring forward building work for the project.
She said: “On my visit to the Western Isles earlier this month, I heard firsthand the benefits this in-
“It would bring huge environmental benefits”
terconnector could bring to the community.
“It would bring huge economic and environmental benefits to the people of the Western Isles, with independent experts estimating it would add over £400million to the local economy.”
MSP Rhoda Grant, Scottish Labour’s rural affairs spokeswoman, backed the call. “The Western Isles has enormous potential for renewable energy production, particularly with wind power. But in order to achieve its full potential, the island must have an interconnector with the mainland.”
A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesman said an announcement was imminent.
“The UK Government is a global leader in tackling climate change and wants to ensure local communities benefit from investments in our low-carbon economy.
“UK Energy Minister Richard Harrington met stakeholders in Aberdeen last month to discuss island wind projects and we expect to set out our plans on these shortly.”