Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil has expressed disappointment at the closure of the Western Isles electricity grid for new micro generation projects due to the lack of grid capacity in the Western Isles and the effect this has on local jobs and development.

Angus MacNeil MP said:

“It is with disappointment that I have been approached by local energy companies who can no longer continue developing the micro renewable sector, which benefited households and small producers, as well as contributing to energy production in the islands due to restrictions on our local grid.

“I have contacted Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) and asked that any outstanding applications pre-notification of this closure should be honoured and that they speak to companies involved in a mature manner to also accommodate projects that are  on route to applications.  From what I understand, that would include a number in Lewis and a substantial number in Uist and Barra.

“I have also asked SSE for figures on the importing and exporting of electricity to the islands over the last few months, as the islands suffer a double hit of renewables being charged to export and consumers facing a surcharge.  This is now further compounded by the fact that we are now limited in access to micro generation.

“An SSE spokesperson told me that they don’t see any room for optimism with the current setup until 2020.

“Clearly the electricity market in the UK is failing the Outer Hebrides on multiple levels, an area which has one of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK.”