Three wind projects are planned for development in Scotland by the Eastern Group electricity distribution company, together with Arnish Electric Ltd of Stornoway and Devon based Farm Energy. The projects, slated for the Western Isles and in the Orkneys, all won power purchase contracts under the latest round of the Scottish Renewables Obligation. Two of them are on the Isle of Lewis, and will give the island its first ever secure, locally generated electricity supply. Seventeen turbines-split between two sites-will generate, on average, enough to supply the annual domestic needs of Lewis and Harris to the south. At present, most of the islands' power comes from the mainland via a sub-sea cable. The larger island project, with 14 turbines totalling 10.5 MW, will be on Beinn Mholach in the Barvas Hills where annual average wind speeds are more than 11 metres per second. The smaller island project is a 2.25 MW cluster of three turbines for a site at Arnish Moor near Stornoway. Both projects are on land which the Stornoway Trust holds on behalf of the local population. The third project is for Stronsay in the Orkneys, where another three-turbine cluster will power the island's population of 379, with the surplus exported to the other Orkney islands. According to Peter Crone, of both Farm Energy and Arnish Electric, the scheme will provide a much needed boost to the local fishing economy. If building permits are granted, project construction could start in summer 2000.
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