Plans for a brand new 17-turbine wind farm just outside Grantown have been submitted to the Scottish Government.
Wind energy firm Fred. Olsen Renewables say the wind farm will be the first of its kind in Scotland.
The proposal states that it will create a “unique” kind of fuel poverty programme which will help local residents to reduce their energy bills while addressing fuel poverty in the region.
How big are the turbines going to be?
Current plans have earmarked a site 10km (six miles) northwest of Grantown for the project.
It would be known as Lethen Wind Farm.
According to Fred. Olsen Renewables, the design has been revised a number of times in response to local feedback.
The proposal which was submitted to the Scottish Government this week consists of 17 turbines at 185m to tip, alongside a battery storage facility.
Feedback which has been gathered throughout the consultation process so far has also helped to shape the benefits that the project will deliver locally.
This includes the development of the Lethen Wind Farm Energy Efficiency Programme.
What are the planned community benefits?
Fred. Olsen Renewables say this scheme is the first of its kind in Scotland and will make it easier for people to consider how they heat their homes, switch to a green tariff and save money on their bills.
Focusing on providing hands-on-advice locally, the initiative includes plans to:
Employ a local energy efficiency officer.
Help to address fuel poverty and energy efficiency in local households.
Identify and support those living in fuel-poor households.
Provide additional support, over and above existing financial support mechanisms.
Help to bring forward energy efficiency measures for individual households.
Support a community-wide energy conservation strategy.
Julie Aitken is a project manager at Fred. Olsen Renewables and said that local engagement in the project has been encouraging so far.
“We are pleased to submit our plans to the Scottish Government and are confident that they bring forward a carefully considered wind farm alongside a range of local opportunities,” she said.
“I would like to thank local residents for their interest, it is their input that has really helped to shape our final proposals.”
Will this help locals with rising energy prices?
Julie also mentioned an issue which has been on many of our minds in recent weeks – dramatically rising energy prices.
“There is a significant focus locally about the opportunities to become more energy efficient,” she said. “To tackle rising bills and help people out of fuel poverty.
“We are confident that Lethen Wind Farm can support this process and really help the local community play its part in Scotland’s net-zero transition.”
Residents are encouraged to view the application documents to find out more and have their say on the plans.
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