March 17, 2022

Taller windfarm proposed near Keith

By Alistair Whitfield | The Northern Scot | 16 March 2022 |

A windfarm company is hoping to potentially double the height of the turbines it wants to build near Keith.

Vattenfall originally received consent from Moray Council in 2014 to build the Aultmore Windfarm, four miles north of the town.

Permission was granted at the time for 13 turbines, each 110 metres high.

In the event, these were never built.

However, eight years later, Vattenfall is looking to take advantage of advances in technology.

It is now seeking permission instead to build 16 more modern turbines which, when measured from the ground to the highest reach of their blades, will be up to 200 metres in height.

The 96MW proposal is expected to be submitted into planning in early 2023, with the Scottish Government being the determining authority for the redesigned scheme rather than Moray Council.

This is due to the installed capacity being greater than 50MW.

The updated project would provide a fund worth about £480,000 to benefit various community causes.

It would also generate enough electricity annually for around 70,000 homes – more than three times the original scheme’s 21,000 homes.

Vattenfall is holding public exhibitions later this month to discuss its plans to redesign Aultmore Wind Farm and gather feedback from the local community

Robert East, Vattenfall’s senior project manager, said: “We are keen to meet the local community, understand their views, and provide them with the opportunity to discuss any questions that they may have.

“We are looking to design the best proposal possible, and this can only be achieved with community input.”

The Aultmore site lies within an area identified by Moray Council as “likely to be most suitable for onshore wind farms” and outwith any landscape or ecological designations.

Frank Elsworth, Vattenfall’s UK development director for onshore wind, said: “New onshore wind is the cheapest way to generate electricity and has an important role to play in achieving the government’s net-zero targets and tackling climate change.

“The redesign of Aultmore will help maximise the fossil-fuel free electricity generated from the site.

“It will also mean opportunities for local businesses, employment and community investment funds.”

The exhibitions are at:

• Cullen Community & Residential Centre on Tuesday, March 22, from 2pm-8pm

• Portgordon Village Hall on Wednesday, March 23, from 11am-2pm

• Newmill Village Hall on Wednesday, March 23, from 5pm-8pm

Information from the exhibitions will also be available at from March 22 onwards.

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