Scottish and Southern Energy has signed a partnership agreement with Viking Energy to develop a 600MW wind farm on Shetland's Central Mainland.

Each organization has a 50% stake in the partnership and its creation follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by SSE and Viking Energy during 2005. Viking Energy is a company established to represent Shetland Islands Council’s interests in wind farm development.

Under the agreement, the new partnership will, later this year, submit a planning application for the wind farm. Its development is subject to, amongst other things, planning consent being secured and to the construction of a sub-sea cable between Shetland and the mainland of Scotland.

Sir Robert Smith, chairman of SSE, said: SSE has a long-established track record in renewable energy and ambitious plans for the future. This agreement helps pave the way for a renewable energy project which can be a world leader in terms of scale, the richness of the natural resources being harnessed and the involvement of the local community.

Our partnership with Viking Energy is an exciting and significant step forward and I am optimistic that our joint venture for this leading-edge renewable energy project will become a reality.