Proposals for a wind farm in East Sutherland on a site located 3km east of Rogart, 5km north-west of Golspie and 1km south of the operational Kilbraur wind farm have been submitted to the Highland Council following a period of extensive study and community consultation.
The application for South Kilbraur wind farm has been submitted by renewable energy developer Wind2, which has staff based in the Highlands, Perth, Edinburgh and North Wales and significant experience of developing onshore wind farms throughout the UK.
The company has offered those closest, within 4km, to the wind farm the opportunity to reduce their energy bills either through a contribution to their electricity bill or by offering home energy efficiency grants as part of a £5,000 per MW community benefit package that could bring the equivalent of to up to £3.5 million to the area over 25 years. In addition, Wind2 has been exploring potential opportunities for the communities around the site to acquire a direct stake of up to 5% in the project.
With an installed capacity of up to 28 MW, the proposed South Kilbraur wind farm will be delivered without any public subsidy, with the potential to generate sufficient electricity to meet the needs of around 22,000 homes and offset 39,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The wind farm would comprise seven wind turbines, each with a maximum blade tip height of 149.9 metres.
As part of the planning process, Wind2 conducted a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which examined the landscape & visual, cultural heritage, ecological and transportation aspects of the project the local area. The company also consulted extensively with local people including two public exhibitions, in Rogart and Golspie, met with community councils on a number of occasions and had individual discussions with near neighbours to the site.
Commenting on the submission of the planning application for South Kilbraur wind farm, Wind2 Project Manager Ewan Eley said:
“Since the start of the year, Wind2 has spoken with the local community and conducted detailed environmental and technical studies prior to the submission of the planning application for South Kilbraur wind farm. As a result, we believe the South Kilbraur wind farm can deliver significant social economic and environmental benefits to East Sutherland.”
“We know that we can build and operate this wind farm without any public subsidy whilst also reducing the electricity bills of those in the immediate area and delivering other projects of benefit to the community through our proposed community benefit fund.”
“I want to thank everyone who came to one of our exhibitions, community council meetings or that we’ve met around the local area. Our plans are now in for determination by The Highland Council and we hope they will feel able to grant us permission to deliver the benefits South Kilbraur wind farm can bring to East Sutherland.”