EDF Energy has said its plans for two major windfarms on the Isle of Lewis may need to reach heights normally preserved for turbines at sea, prompting an outcry from local opponents. The French company’s renewables unit said it may need to go higher for the project to be economically viable and win millions of pounds in government subsidies.
Kerry MacPhee, who heads community liaison, told locals that one of the windfarms could be 200 metres (650ft) tall, with the other 187 metres, up from 150 metres and 145 metres previously. That would be taller than the UK’s largest existing onshore turbine (193.5 metres) and be on a par with some of the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbines, which are 60 metres taller than the London Eye.
EDF said it was likely, but not guaranteed, that fewer turbines would be needed than the original 36 planned. Bigger turbines would also require a new application for planning approval, allowing opponents a chance to air their opinions.