Over 130 local people heard about a proposed £110 million wind farm near Reay at two public open days which were held in the village.
They were informed about renewable energy developer Infinergy’s £110m Limekiln wind farm project.
The proposed wind farm of up to 26 turbines would have a generating capacity of around 78 megawatts, enough to power around 43,600 homes.
The development could also result in an associated community benefit fund of around £390,000 a year – £9.75m over the 25-year lifetime of the project.
According to the company, the wind farm will create construction jobs during the build phase, as well as permanent maintenance jobs once operational.
Infinergy’s Inverness-based project manager, Fiona Milligan, said: “We had a really successful couple of days in Reay earlier this month and were delighted that so many local people were able to make it along and give us their feedback.
“There was a very broad mix of views both for and against the wind farm, with a significant number of people still undecided.
“The people of Caithness are very knowledgeable about onshore wind and the debate surrounding our project was extremely useful as a first step.”
She continued: “We also asked people for ideas about how they would like to see the community benefit package associated with the wind farm.
“It’s clear that people are looking for a long-term legacy for the area and we intend to establish a community liaison group of key local stakeholders to find out what the priorities are and the best model for delivery.
“We’ll also be holding further open days in late May to show people how we’ve adapted our plans in response to the feedback we’ve received. We anticipate submitting a planning application in the autumn of this year.”
The Limekiln site is located around 2km south of Reay, and 2.8km south-southwest of Dounreay.
As part of the detailed technical studies which must accompany the eventual planning application, Infinergy is conducting an environmental impact assessment to address what effects the wind farm might have on the existing and future environment and what can be done to avoid or mitigate any adverse effects.
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