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06/06/14 09:44

£30m to benefit the Highlands

Stronelairg wind farm approved and Newfield wind farm refused.

A new 67-turbine wind farm near Fort Augustus, which will power the equivalent of up to 114,000 homes in the area and generate up to £30 million of benefits to the Highlands, has been granted planning consent, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced.

At the same time, an application to build the 21-turbine Newfield wind farm, with a maximum generating capacity of 63MW and located near Lockerbie in Dumfries and Galloway has been refused on the grounds of unacceptable adverse visual, landscape and cumulative impacts.

The proposed Stronelairg wind farm, which will be developed by SSE Renewables on the Garrogie Estate in the Highland Council area, will have a maximum generating capacity of around 242MW.

The wind farm will bring up to £15 million of benefits to the local community over the 25-year lifetime of the development with an additional £15 million to go to the Highland-wide Sustainable Development Fund. The construction phase is expected to create more than 100 jobs.

The original application was for 83 turbines with 16 turbines being refused consent, in order to mitigate landscape and visual impacts.

Mr Ewing said:

“The Stronelairg wind farm will create jobs both in its construction, and during its lifetime.

“Once it is up and running, the wind farm will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will be able to produce enough electricity to power thousands of homes in the Highlands.

“As well as bringing benefits to the local community, the Stronelairg wind farm will also benefit the wider Highland region through the provision of a Sustainable Development Fund.

“Wind farms, like Stronelairg, play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand generated from renewables.

“We are already providing over a third of the UK’s renewable electricity generation and helping to keep the lights on across our islands at a time where there is an increasingly tight gap between electricity supply and demand.”

Mr Ewing added:

“We want to see the right developments in the right places. That is why I have refused permission for the proposed wind farm at Newfield, which would have brought unacceptable impacts on the landscape.”