Orkney Community Wind Farms wins COSLA Excellence Award

Orkney Islands Council has won a COSLA Excellence Award for its commitment towards decarbonisation through Orkney Community Wind Farms.

COSLA’s Excellence Awards, a celebration of Scottish Local Government success, took place on 28 September.

The annual event recognises the great work, talent and innovation across Scottish Local Government.

The Council’s Strategic Projects team won under the category ‘Just Transition to a Net Zero Economy’ which looked at the commitment and investment that Council projects across Scotland are making to deliver carbon neutrality.

All 32 of Scotland’s Councils were invited to submit entries earlier this year with over 200 applications received across five categories.

The proposed project, which consists of three 6-turbine wind farms, has the potential to generate 90MW of electricity and could bring in an average real profit of £5.5 million per annum for the Council.

The Community Benefit Scheme will also bring in an additional £432,000 per year which will provide funds to local communities to develop transformational projects of their own.

Orkney Islands Council Leader, James Stockan, said: “We are delighted to win this award and feel it strongly showcases our commitment to carbon neutrality.

“Although the project still needs to go to Elected Members next year for final approval, the effort and investment carried out to date has achieved significant milestones, and this award further demonstrates that success.

“The wind farms made an essential contribution to meeting Ofgem’s requirements of securing 135MW of renewable energy which was approved earlier this year for the new 220MW interconnector linking Orkney to the Scottish mainland.

“Orkney, with its abundance of natural energy, requires the cable to maximise on these resources and will contribute to Scotland meeting carbon zero targets by 2045.

“The new cable will be vital in supporting the renewable energy industry in Orkney, especially wave and tidal, all of which will help contribute to a net zero economy while creating jobs and upskilling our workforce.

“I’d like to congratulate our projects team who has been developing the project on winning this prestigious award, it’s fantastic to gain recognition for this highly deserved project.”