SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, led a Members’ debate in the Scottish Parliament yesterday on the plans for a new interconnector for the Western Isles.

The National Grid’s recent Pathway to 2030 report noted that proposals for a new 1.8GW interconnector for the Western Isles had been assessed as “required” and “essential” in order for 2030 offshore wind targets to be successfully delivered. However, concerns were raised when Ofgem did not include the interconnector project in its recent consultation on accelerating onshore electricity transmission investment.

The new link would have capacity to accommodate all known onshore wind contracted to connect in the Western Isles, as well as the two ScotWind sites closest to the islands, and provision to transmit energy generated by future renewables projects in the islands.

Speaking in the chamber yesterday, Allan said:

“This project is of national significance, as the Western Isles have an enormous role to play in Scotland’s renewables landscape in the coming decades. The construction of this transmission link would unlock hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of investment from shovel-ready renewables projects across the islands.

“Ofgem must ensure that the Western Isles transmission link is included in its final list of projects that are approved for accelerated investment, which is to be published at the end of this year.”


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