The government has announced that onshore windfarms on the Scottish islands will be able to compete for contracts for difference (CfD) subsidies.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published the results of a consultation exercise, which it carried out last year, into whether remote islands wind should count as separate technology category in future auctions.
The move means that onshore wind projects will be able to qualify for the Pot 2 auction for “less established” technologies if they are located on islands 10km or more off the UK mainland.
Schemes with a generating capacity of 5MW and upwards will be eligible for CfD support in line with the scheme’s wider rules.
Projects on the Scottish island groups of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles face additional costs of up to £30 more per MWh in order to connect to the transmission network.
The European Commission ruled earlier this year it would not block moves to allow windfarm projects on the Scottish islands to enter the next CfD auction, which is pencilled in for next spring.
The government’s announcement implements a pledge in last year’s Conservative manifesto to allow remote islands wind projects to access the billpayer funded mechanism.