Scottish court OKs Viking wind

The developer of the 103-turbine Viking wind farm on Scotland’s Shetland said it can move ahead after the country’s top court backed an earlier consent for the huge onshore project.

Viking – slated to come in at 412MW – suffered a big setback last year when the Court of Session in Edinburgh decided the Scottish government had ignored EU bird protection rules when giving consent to the wind farm, following a judicial review brought by opponents.

But three judges today upheld an appeal against that ruling and said the consent decision was sound, according to developer Viking Energy Shetland, which is 50% owned by utility SSE.

Viking Energy Shetland chairman Alan Bryce said: “We are pleased that the judges have found in favour of Scottish ministers, who awarded consent to build the wind farm more than two years ago. Their decision has been vindicated today and we can now move on.

“We believed the consent decision would stand up to the closest scrutiny and this outcome validates our position that this project can benefit the local and wider environment.”

Viking has been a source of controversy since 2009, when it started life as a 540MW,150-machine proposal, with a vociferous local opposition fighting it at every stage.

The progress of the wind farm has also been closely bound up with plans to build a HV power link with Shetland.