New plans to build a small scale wind farm at Nigg in Easter Ross were unveiled today (Tuesday).
Falck Renewables, whose Operations HQ for the UK is based near Inverness, has submitted a report to Highland Council outlining plans to carry out an environmental impact assessment for a 5-turbine wind farm on Hill of Nigg.
A formal planning application will be made later this year following the assessment, which will take a further 6 months to complete.
The proposal for a community-scale wind farm follows an earlier proposal to build a much larger scale wind farm in the area, which was proposed by another developer but not taken beyond the feasibility stage. The site lies to the east of the B9175 near Nigg and Pitcalnie, 4km south west of Balintore.
Fraser McKenzie, project manager with West Coast Energy, who are preparing the Environmental Impact Assessment on behalf of Falck Renewables said, “We believe this is a good location for a wind farm. Most of the area is designated in the Highland Renewable Energy Strategy as suitable for this type of small scale development. While the windfarm will be visible, we consider that an appropriately scaled development in this location would fit with the landscape character and the elements of large scale industry already present such as the yard at Nigg or the oil rig platforms in the Cromarty Firth.
“As well as the opportunity to provide clean, green energy, one of the features of a Falck wind farm is the level of community involvement that is possible, through ownership schemes such as Energy4All.”
Falck Renewables offer local communities the opportunity to buy shares in their local wind farm. The first wind farm co-operative in Scotland was developed at Falck’s Boyndie wind farm site in Banffshire. And recently a board of directors was appointed for the co-operative which will share in the profits of the Ben Aketil wind farm on Skye. Plans are also underway to develop similar co-operatives at Glenmoriston, south of Inverness and at Kilbraur in Strath Brora. Under the co-operative scheme, run by Energy4All, local people have the chance to buy shares
The proposals would represent an investment of around £8-10 million. The project would include up to 5 wind turbines as well as a site control building, grid connection compound and access roads.
The developer claims the wind farm would generate enough clean, green electricity to supply around 6000 thousand homes and help reduce reliance on existing less environmentally-friendly energy resources.
The former oil fabrication yard at Nigg is now home to some of the most successful renewable energy companies in the Highlands. The demonstrator turbines for the planned Beatrice deepwater offshore wind farm were assembled at Nigg with one floating out last year and the other due to be floated out in July.
29 May 2007
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