At the moment, one windfarm in Lewis (Eishken) looks set to get the go-ahead from Scottish Ministers next week; the other one, Pairc [South Lochs], is still subject to public consultation. Following an error, the term for submitting objections to it was extended until 17 April (next Friday).
Any electricity generated by on-shore windfarms in Lewis will have to be transmitted off the island to its mainland consumers. The current link, which reaches the Western Isles through Skye, has nowhere near the capacity to cope with the projected output of the 53 turbines in Eishken as well as 26 turbines in South Lochs. A subsea cable will have to be laid to the mainland, Dundonnell on Little Loch Broom, and from there underground to a powerstation near Beauly, just west of Inverness. From Beauly, the electricity will be taken south to a major switching station at Denny, near Stirling.
This requires the entire infrastructure to be upgraded. The regional press is reporting that Highland Council is opposed to an expansion of the site at Beauly, in its current form. The upgrade of the lines to Denny has been subject to a public inquiry, and the outcome of that is awaited.
The relevance to the Lewis windfarms of all this is, that should the infrastructure upgrade not get the overall go-ahead, the windfarms cannot be built.