WIND projects on the Scottish islands will be able to apply for financial support in the next auction for less-established renewable subsidies after a change in rules.

The UK Government also confirmed that up to £557 million will be available for future competitive auctions for less-established renewable technologies, known as contracts for difference (CfD).

Onshore wind projects are considered established and therefore not given a similar level of Government support, however as more remote areas of Scotland incur higher costs, a special category has been created in the next CfD round for less-established technologies, allowing these projects to participate.

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Ministers did not confirm how much money would be available for the next auction, to be held in spring 2019, but did acknowledge that it had submitted an application to the European Commission seeking state aid approval for this change.

CfDs include the likes of offshore wind, tidal power, biomass and energy-from-waste projects. The last auction ended in September 2017 and brought forward more than one gigawatt of clean electricity for Scotland.

Under the initiative, projects are guaranteed a minimum price at which they can sell electricity to the grid.

Energy Minister Richard Harrington said: “Scotland already has a strong record in exploiting the potential of clean growth. We want to go further, creating thousands of good jobs and attracting billions of pounds worth of investment. That’s why we are ensuring that remote island wind projects in Scotland, which have the potential to benefit the island communities directly, have access to the same funding opportunities as offshore wind.”