I've mentioned on another thread that Orkney produces its entire energy needs through renewables, and actually over-produces by around 20%, which it exports to mainland UK via the National Grid. There's talk of connecting Shetland to the NG so the rest of the UK benefits from the wind turbines we'll be having installed in a few years time. If Shetland had control of its own finances, which also includes revenue from the wind farms, I can't see the islands being poor at all. We could also all benefit from cheap electricity if it was done in the right way. On those rare Shetland days where the wind doesn't blow, we can also install batteries which can be charged during low consumption periods of days with wind, to provide power 24/7.
When did the plan shift from everything VE produced being sent directly south, leaving us dragging it back via a second line and paying national rates for everything we used? As for profits to spend, as anyone with a basic grip of mathematics can see, actual profits are still years away even after all of VE is completed and commissioned, and then heavily relies on subsidies to turn them in. Counting chickens and all that.... especially as nobody has signed a cheque for any cable yet, which is make or break in more ways than one. Although given the current state of what's left of the SCT, there's a high probability they'd be big enough numpties to be wildly enthusiastic to be the first to jump up waving that cheque.