September 1, 2022

Plans for new onshore wind farm lodged with Orkney Islands Council

By Hamish Penman | 31/08/2022 |

Proposals for a new onshore wind farm in Birsay on the mainland of Orkney have been submitted to the local authority.

The Nisthill Windfarm plan has been developed by farmers Paul Archibald, of Nisthouse, and Adrian Breck, of Ludenhill, along with renewable energy developer Infinergy.

The four-turbine development will be situated on farmland between the Loch of Swannay and the Loch of Hundland, with a proposed 40-year lifespan.

In all, the 180 metre-to-tip turbines will have an installed capacity of 26.4 megawatts and are expected to generate a “significant amount” of green energy due to the strong Orcadian winds.

They could supply power to more than 23,000 homes, while the project will also enable a community benefit fund of £5 million over its lifespan.

Mr Breck and Mr Archibald have been considering and working on the Nisthill project for two and a half years.

In order to progress the scheme further, they teamed up with specialist developer Infinergy towards the end of last year.

Mr Breck said: “Both Paul and I are delighted to have reached this major milestone. Such renewable energy projects bring huge benefits to communities, not only in terms of community benefit funds, but also their wider positive impacts.

“This proposed wind farm will help bring much needed work to the islands across a whole range of different sectors.”

As with Orkney’s other windfarms, the export of the energy produced by Nisthill will hinge on the installation of a new interconnector.

Ofgem has set a December deadline for 135MW of projects to be underway in the region for the regulator to give the go ahead to install a cable that will connect Orkney with the Scottish mainland.

With an installed capacity of 26.4MW from just four turbines, Nisthill Wind farm will make a significant contribution to the target.

Should the project be granted permission, it is currently anticipated that construction would commence no earlier than 2025.

Kari Clouston, Infinergy project manager working on Nisthill, said: “It has been a huge privilege to work with Adrian and Paul to help take this proposal forwards to application.

“We’re all very grateful to members of the community who have shown interest in the proposals. Adrian, Paul and Infinergy are particularly keen to ensure the local community benefit directly from the wind farm, should it be consented.

“I also believe in the need for more home grown and affordable renewable energy and therefore the need for this wind farm has never been greater. It will help to make us less reliant on expensive gas, will bring energy bills down and it will contribute to the fight against climate change.”

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