September 26 (Renewables Now) - The Crofting Commission has rejected the applications by three Isle of Lewis townships in Scotland to develop community-owned wind farms, but the decision was, nevertheless, welcomed by the townships.
The applications were rejected because the commission decided that the wind farms would be "to the detriment" to the landowner and not because crofting communities cannot develop wind farms on their common grazings land without the landowner's consent.
“This Commission decision, while disappointing in its final conclusion, is a major breakthrough for the rights of crofting communities and leaves us much further ahead that we thought we would be at this stage," township representative Rhoda Mackenzie stated.
The townships said they are preparing an appeal to the Scottish Land Court to overturn the decision.
In this case, the landowner is the Stornoway Trust, which signed a lease over the same land years ago to Lewis Wind Power (LWP), a private developer now owned by EDF (EPA:EDF) and Wood Group.
Four crofting townships want to develop community-owned wind farms in Stornoway. In August, they said they intend to bid in the remote island wind pot of the UK government's contract for difference (CfD) auction in 2019. They aim to develop 21 turbines, totalling 105 MW, that match the approved locations for 21 of the 36 turbines of LWP's Stornoway wind project.