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Local energy firms set to plug turbines into UK energy supply

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Council in the Western Isles has granted permission to several community-owned firms to connect their wind turbines to the main UK energy supply.

National Grid connection dates will be issued within a few weeks to the six firms to plug in 11 turbines.

The local authority is hoping the move will inject an annual £2.5M of profits into the Western Isles’ economy, which it says will be used for environmental, social and cultural projects.

With a life span of 25 years, the turbines will supply energy to the equivalent of 15,000 homes and will reportedly cut 60,000T from the region’s CO2 emissions through its reduced use of oil. They will be located from Barra and Vatersay in the south of the islands to Galson in the north of Lewis.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has already permitted community turbines but the local firms which run them thought they would not be able to connect nationally until 2014 when an under-sea cable connected the islands to the mainland.

EcoHeb, the registered group which that represents each one of the islands’ energy firms, has now been told its push to be connected to the National Grid has been successful and that the plug-in has been given the green light by Ofgem.

Scottish and Southern Electricity will be contacting the respective firms to issue them with their dates for connecting to the grid.

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