Highlands to see £9m boost in community cash from new windfarm
THE construction of a new 22 turbine windfarm near Lairg, in the North Highlands, has been given the green light by the Scottish Government.
The planned development is expected to provide local communities with more than £9m over a period of 25 years.
“Renewable energy sources accounted for over 56 per cent of gross electricity consumption in Scotland in 2015, and onshore wind is a key driver for the growth in both our renewable electricity supply and wider renewable energy sector.” Paul Wheelhouse
Confirming the Scottish Government’s consent for the windfarm’s planning, energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “This proposal for Creag Riabhach received popular support from the local community council and public alike and, once operational, the wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 36,000 homes and generate over £9m in benefits for the local community.”
“Renewable energy sources accounted for over 56 per cent of gross electricity consumption in Scotland in 2015, and onshore wind is a key driver for the growth in both our renewable electricity supply and wider renewable energy sector and in the delivery of our vision for a greener Scotland and statutory climate change targets by enabling decarbonisation of electricity production.”
“The wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 36,000 homes and generate over £9 million in benefits for the local community.” Paul Wheelhouse
Located on the Altnaharra Estate, the windfarm was planned and applied for by Creag Riabhach Wind Farm Ltd, a local private company that has also set aside a community fund, into which all profits will be invested.
The community contribution scheme would comprise an annual payment to the community benefit fund of £5,000 per MW, amounting to £363,000 per annum, more than £9m for the 25 year operational life of the proposed development.
It is planned that business and residents within the local area will have their electricity, or equivalent costs, paid by the wind farm.
The proposal received widespread support from the public and local community council who emphasised the suitability of the location and highlighted the benefits to the local economy.
All of the five Community Councils – Scourie, Kinlochbervie, Durness, Tongue and Bettyhill, Strathnaver and Altnaharra have agreed to participate in the North and West Sutherland Charitable Trust (NWSCT) to distribute part of the community benefit fund.
Picture courtesy of Creag Riabhch WFLtd
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