NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Plan for 24-hour-a-day Fair Isle power moves forward

Generator

Plans to offer 24-hours-a-day electricity to one of Scotland's most remote communities have moved forward.

Islanders on Fair Isle, off Shetland, have lived without power from 23:00 to 07:00 when there is not enough wind.

The island has used a combination of wind and diesel for power generation since the 1980s.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) said a £2.6m funding package for wind turbines, a solar array and battery storage was now complete.

It is hoped the plan could boost the island's population - 24 miles south of the Shetland mainland - which currently standing at 55.

HIE has awarded the final £250,000 required.

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Media captionIt is hoped the plan could boost the island's population

Fiona Stirling, development manager at HIE's Shetland area team, said: "This is a key project in the development plan for Fair Isle and we are delighted to support it.

"Improving the island's local energy system supply is one of the highest priorities identified in the recent community development plan.

"It's a key factor in attracting new people to the island as well as helping businesses to develop. The new energy system will also be cleaner and greener and will reduce reliance on expensive diesel, hence making living costs more sustainable."

Fair Isle Electricity Company director, Robert Mitchell, said: "Having a constant electricity source may help to attract more people to live in Fair Isle as well as benefit the residents.

"It will also bring new employment opportunities and sustain existing employment.

"The directors of the community-owned company, as well as the whole community itself, are delighted with the support that the small rural community received from all the funding bodies involved.

"This ambitious project is the first step in ensuring that the community of Fair Isle continues to thrive."

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