A 200-turbine offshore wind farm has been proposed for a site off the Caithness coast.
Consortium Moray Offshore Renewables is to hold a series of studies on the project’s potential economic and environmental impact.
Public meetings will also be held in communities along the coasts of the Moray Firth.
The proposed site is near the Beatrice oil field where there are two experimental offshore wind turbines.
Meanwhile, the output from shore-based wind farms in the north of Scotland have exceeded demand for power from local homes and businesses for the first time.
Scottish and Southern Distribution, part of Scottish and Southern Energy, said at one point last Sunday its Highlands sites were producing more than 700 megawatts (MW) of electricity while demand was slightly below that figure.
The company said the surplus power was distributed to other parts of the UK
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