Plans for a major wind farm extension in Ross-shire have been given the go-ahead.
Planning consent has been granted for an extension to a wind farm at Lochluichart which it is claimed could generate 18MW of electricity – enough to power the equivalent of 8,946 homes.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has approved the extension to the Lochluichart development.
The six new turbines will bring the wind farm to a total of 23 turbines, with a total capacity of 69MW, which could power the equivalent of 32,568 homes, it is claimed.
The extension to the site will create 20-30 jobs in the area during the 10-month construction period and two permanent jobs.
Around £5.4- £7.2 million is expected to be spent in the Highlands and Islands region during construction, backers of the scheme claim.
The local community will benefit from the extension, with the developers paying £49,500 a year be split between the three local community councils over the 25 years the wind farm is expected to operate. That will result in payouts totalling £1.24million.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:“The extension to the Lochluichart site will represent a significant boost to the local economy and create jobs during construction.
“Over the 25 years the extension will run, it is expected to generate £1.24 million of money which will be invested in the local communities.
“Once it is up and running the wind farm will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 9,000 homes.
“In consenting this application I have put in place a series of conditions to protect the outstanding natural habitats and landscapes and local communities.”
Developers Infinergy Limited applied to the Scottish Government for an extension to the Lochuichart wind farm in August 2011. 124 objections were received and 9 representations in support.
More in this week’s Ross-shire Journal.
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