Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil says today’s announcement that approval has been granted from energy regulator Ofgem for the need to build a 1.8GW interconnector to export renewable energy from the Western Isles to the mainland grid is a major step forward.

Mr MacNeil has continually lobbied for the interconnector and today’s announcement is a long-awaited breakthrough.

Mr MacNeil said: “This has been the work of many years and is extremely welcome news for Na h-Eileanan an Iar.  

“This opens up the islands to fulfil its renewable energy potential bringing massive benefits to the islands’ economy.

“For so long we wanted Ofgem to green light a 600MW connection and they were insisting on 450WM.  Now Ofgem have green lighted a 1.8GW connector.

“Years have been lost and things could be a lot better had this been built years ago.

“As it is, construction is expected to be ongoing in 2025/26 with the project finished in 2030.”